Plastic is Forever

Found in 5 Minutes on Our Beach

Every Color, Every Shape: Its All There in the Ocean

Our material culture washes up every day upon our beaches: Thousands of tiny particles of weathered plastic bits mixed with large snarls of monofilament trapping bottle caps, fireworks parts and earplugs. To look at a list of what’s washed ashore on a single beach during one high tide is to step through a day-in-the-life of the average American citizen and take note of the hundreds of plastic items we use: coffee cups and lids, plastic stirrers, plastic straws, clamshell food containers, plastic pens, a toothbrush, hairbrush, mascara applicator, shampoo bottle, car door handle, paintbrush, cell phone holder, car bumper, plastic shopping bags, dog toy, tennis balls, juice pouches, paint can spray top, organic produce stickers, plant pots, shovel handle, flip flops, sunglasses, lip balm applicator, baseball cap visor, packing peanuts, ziplock bag, water bottles, refrigerator meats drawer, plastic champagne cork, toothpaste cap, and light switch cover. Everything on this list has washed up on a beach in Puget Sound for us to document.

Plastic is Forever is the name of our project, and it’s the brainchild of 5 children who can no longer play innocently on a beach, oblivious to the myriad plastics under foot. Ages 4-7, and for over a year now, the kids have masterminded their own inventories, marine plastics art exhibits, environmental festival projects, science fair displays, watershed educational booths, public library displays, and Earth Day exhibitions. They’ve even made a short film. Please watch their work and spread the news: We’re using way too much plastic and it just won’t seem to ever go away.

9 thoughts on “Plastic is Forever

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  3. Hi,
    This is Barbara de Vries from Plastic is Forever. We all have our own way to get to this world wide problem and I advocate that all the different groups that are passionate about it should join forces
    to become more powerful. I have had my company, Plastic is Forever, for four years. You can check it out through my website links and see exactly what I have achieved with it, ranging from TED talk to projects with The Nature Conservancy, a film called One Beach, projects with retailers like Barneys NY, a show at Art Basel Miami. To call your project Plastic is Forever may become confusing, I do not claim ownership to any of it, and clearly we are like-minded but I do want you to be aware that I and my company exist. Best, Barbara de Vries


    • Hi Barbara. Thanks so much for getting in touch. I recently became aware of your project and have the highest regard for the work you do and efforts you’ve undertaken to educate the public as much as possible about the problem of marine debris and plastics in general getting into our environment. Our little project is local to Bainbridge Island and Puget Sound, just my friend Rebecca and I getting the word out through schools, zero waste projects, and beach stewardship. We’ve moved on to a much larger agenda at, our massive undertaking to provide with real solutions to the problem of manufacturers outproducing our ability to dispose of, and properly use, the plastics on our planet. Through a mobile app and website we’re jumpstarting a reuse revolution, educating people about repurposing, gifting, fixing, rethinking and indeed refusing too much stuff in the first place. We’re headed to the Himalayas today to conduct zero waste audits in remote villages, under the name of Trash Backwards, so no worries about any future name confusion.

      Kindest regards to you,


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