A giant plastic bottle maze has been used to shine a light on plastic waste and the increasing environmental hazard of plastic, to crowds of tourists at Madrid’s popular Plaza Mayor.
PlasticWaste Labyrinth was constructed from thousands of plastic bottles that had been consumed in and around the plaza in the month prior to the construction of the piece.
The environmental art installation, built in June, was created by art group Luzinterruptus, who set out to create a structure that was intentionally “unfriendly”.
PlasticWaste Labyrinth, claustrophobic in nature with its intricate path and narrow passages, was constructed to raise awareness of the amount of plastic the world’s population generates in their daily lives, which is often not recycled. Much of this plastic is dumped in nature and ends up floating in the ocean, forming huge plastic islands that are destroying the marine ecosystem and will not decompose.
Luzinterruptus said: “We [Luzinterruptus] built a structure with an intricate path and narrow passages which force visitors to keep turning, thus producing a feeling of disorientation and a certain unease after a few seconds as it was impossible to guess how far the exit was. There were no reference points in its interior and the heat and the smell of plastic enhanced a definitely oppressive experience.”
Crowds orienteered their way through the maze, sprawled around the King Philip III statue. The 3-metre tall walls were raised using up to 15,000 bottles which were placed in bags alongside lights, making the walls totally compact and bright.
The art installation was open day and night for four days during June, when temperatures soared over 40ºC (104º F) in Spain’s capital city.
Luzinterruptus added: “The over 40ºC (104º F) temperature helped us in our mission of creating an asphyxiating setting which stood in stark contrast to the magic of the glazes and the bright colorful reflections of the light filtered through the bottles.”
The anonymous artistic group, Luzinterruptus, carry out urban interventions in public spaces. The group, which started out in 2008, aim to bring to light issues in Madrid that largely seem to go unnoticed by the authorities and citizens.
Drawing on their experience of PlasticWaste Labyrinth, Luzinterruptus said: “We [Luzinterruptus] must say that we found impossible to get plastic bottles from the city’s official recycling services. Unfortunately, here [in Madrid] we don’t recycle PET separately and is mixed with all kinds of containers which renders the task of selecting only bottles impossible.
“In addition, the bodies that regulate and control this sort of material do not make things easy, the exception not being programmed in the plastic collection chain. What we were actually able to see was that the trash collection business brings huge profit to many businesses that manage it and trade it.
“We hope things change soon and that municipal services begin to consider the possibility of collecting these materials more selectively since there are many innovative ways to use them.”
Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable lifestyle and living, wellbeing, and entertainments. Rosalind also works as a psychic, counsellor, intuitive reader and spiritual life coach helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com