Nobody Trashes Tennessee is proud to sponsor Washed Ashore, a new exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium which looks at the problem of plastic litter in our waterways through a series of dramatic and beautiful sculptures as part of the Aquarium’s 30th Anniversary.
The larger-than-life sculptures featuring aquatic animals are made from recovered plastic debris and can be seen throughout the aquarium campus and the IMAX 3D Theater and are open to the public through Oct. 30, 2022.
Among the brightly colored depictions of sea lions, sharks, jellyfish, sea otters and fishes, it’s easy to recognize individual pieces of plastic which comprise them despite the beauty and whimsy of the finished pieces. The striking sculptural pieces are thought-provoking because they show us the vast amount of plastic litter that plagues our waterways – all across the world in our oceans and right here at home in our Tennessee rivers.
Every year, mankind produces about 300 million pounds of plastic, less than 10 percent of which is recycled. Much of that un-repurposed material languishes in landfills or is blown or washed into waterways, where it eventually makes its way to the ocean. Right here in Tennessee, there are more than 100 million pieces of litter on our roadways at any given time, which can pose a threat to both land and aquatic animals.
“The connections between roadside litter, water quality and aquatic systems cannot be overstated,” says Denise Baker, TDOT’s transportation program supervisor. “Since visible litter studies began in Tennessee, TDOT and its many community partners have been effective at decreasing the amount of roadside litter, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. This sponsorship with the Tennessee Aquarium will help get more people of all ages excited about cleaning up the litter that already exists and prevent more litter from piling up across the state of Tennessee.”
Read more about Washed Ashore at the Tennessee Aquarium here.