November 14, 2014
Seattle, WA – There is a 32 foot long whale migrating through Washington State. This whale is not traveling through Puget Sound or the Pacific Ocean. Instead, it is stopping at community events and a local recycling center in order to bring awareness to the amount of plastic we use but do not recycle.
This whale is the result of the Plastic Whale Project, a creation of Carrie Ziegler, Waste Reduction Specialist for Thurston County. The project was inspired after the autopsy of a grey whale in Puget Sound revealed that her stomach included significant quantities of waste including 20 pla
stic shopping bags at the time of death. Carrie designed the project with the support students at of over 15 schools who braided together 9,000 plastic bags, juice cups and plastic utensils that form the whale’s skin and skeleton. The whale’s skin includes a depiction of the Pacific Ocean and the swirling mass of mostly plastic garbage known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”
With the assistance of local recycling, compost and garbage hauler, Recology CleanScapes, this whale has been migrating to major community events throughout Washington State to draw attention to the impact of single use plastic bags and to promote recycling. The whale was featu
red at the Washington State Fair (formerly known as the Puyallup Fair), then travelled north to be displayed at Issaquah’s annual Salmon Days event and is currently headed for the Imagine! Children’s Museum in Everett for America Recycle’s Day on November 15th. After November 20th the whale will return to its temporary home at the Recology CleanScapes recycling facility in Seattle where it will be on display for tour groups.
In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her body weight in plastic. Viewed another way, enough plastic is placed in landfills each year to circle the Earth four times. Plastic makes up over 10% of the washed up debris polluting American coastlines. On America Recycles Day, Recology CleanScapes encourages everyone to consider the positive impacts we can have by recycling. Consider other alternatives to plastic bags such as bringing a reusable canvas bag with you when you go grocery shopping and refusing single-use packaging. If you must use plastic, please remember that it is a resource and can be recycled.
“32 million tons of plastic waste was generated in America in 2012 yet only 9 percent was recovered for recycling,” said Dan Bridges, Recology CleanScapes’ General Manager. “We must do better. Recology CleanScapes is pleased to be able to share this whale with communities to draw attention to the importance of recycling.”
Recology CleanScapes currently provides solid waste, recycling and compost collection service for the cities of Seattle, Shoreline, Des Moines, Issaquah, Carnation, Burien, SeaTac and Maple Valley. Service for Bothell will begin on January 1, 2015. Recology CleanScapes is a subsidiary of Recology, an employee-owned company that sees a world without waste, where resources are used and re-used in a sustainable ecosystem that strives for their best and highest use.
To learn more please visit: plasticwhaleproject.com