The Bristol Whales sculpture shows two wicker whales – a 15-metre long tail section and a nine-metre long head section – breaching from an ‘ocean’ of 70,000 plastic bottles. (Scroll down for video).

The recovered plastic bottles were up-cycled from the Bath Half Marathon and the Bristol 10K run. The whales will be exhibited in the city centre’s Millennium Square until 1 September.

The plastic bottles around the sculpture are illuminated with LEDs, provided by lighting specialists Stage Electrics, which add to the green credentials of the piece by creating energy efficient lighting. 

The project was designed and built by artists from Cod Steaks and initiated by Artists Project Earth. Cod Steaks’ lead artist Sue Lipscombe said: “Our sea of recycled plastic bottles represents the detrimental effect of plastic pollution on the ocean which is something that all of us can act on – today – by reducing our consumption of single use plastics.”

Arts Council England South West director Phil Gibby added: “The Bristol Whales sends a very powerful message about the importance of safeguarding the world’s oceans by tackling marine litter”.

As part of the developments for Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, the city also saw the development of its first community-owned solar farm in May. The 1.8MW Moorhouse Solar Farm will deliver 1,780MWh of renewable electricity to the grid each year, enough to power more than 400 homes.

Writing exclusively for edie earlier this year, Go Green project directors Amy Robinson and Nina Skubala said Bristol’s year as green capital was helping businesses around the city embrace sustainability and create a more resilient business community.

They wrote: “Our aim is to engage with over local 1,000 businesses during the European Green Capital Year and we see a real opportunity for this model to be adopted by other cities in the UK and further afield.”

Matt Field

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