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All Washed Up

All Washed Up was a collaboration between Dr Matthew Witt, a lecturer in Natural Environment within the ESI, and Rame Peninsula Beach Care (RPBC), a beach cleaning group from South East Cornwall.  

In April to July 2014, the ESI hosted an art exhibition featuring a variety of pieces made by local artists from different kinds of beach waste. The artists all approached this issue from a different perspective and used different materials to help raise awareness about the growing tide of ocean plastic, which poses a significant threat to marine wildlife and affects everything from plankton up to whales.

As part of the collaboration, RPBC artist Liz Franklin created a large abstract mural from beach waste for display in the ESI atrium, with help from a group of 100 school children. Matthew Witt also worked with Claire Wallerstein from RPBC on a GPS tracking project to map and measure the distribution and concentration of different kinds of waste on Cornish beaches, providing hard scientific data that may later feed into discussions regarding policies around plastics and waste disposal.