Each year Chester Cathedral holds a Christmas tree festival, they invite local schools, shops and organisations to decorate a tree that lines the cloisters.
After the success of my Saving the Deep exhibition over the summer they asked me if I would like to join in with the festival as well. The cathedral’s theme for whole year was “WAVES” and they wanted the Christmas tree festival to be the grand finale for the topic so encouraged the tree decorators to re-use, recycle and be as sustainable as possible.
I created a Christmas tree for life not just for Christmas with 500 plastic bottles. People from across Cheshire and locals here in Betws-y-Coed collected bottles for me and took them to the cathedral ready for me to put it all together. I wanted to use my tree to highlight our excessive plastic use.
Almost everyone in the UK has used a plastic bottle at some point, many would have used one today, you may be using one while reading this post. We seem to have lost the ability to see the destructive impact our need for instant items is having on our planet.
Human’s plastic use could be said to be out of control globally, two recent statistics being reported could back this thought up. The first is that globally humans buy a million plastic bottles per minute. The second is that 91% of all plastic is not recycled. Add to that the estimate that over half a trillion plastic bottles will be sold in 2020 and you can appreciate the scale of the problem.
Despite being highly recyclable a lot of plastic, bottles included, ends up in either the ocean or in landfill sites. It is estimated that by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish. That plastic will then become a risk to sea birds, fish and marine mammals.
So if you are in Chester over the Christmas holidays why not pop into the cathedral and take a wander around the cloisters. The festival runs until 5pm on January 5th 2020.
The tree was featured in a recent article by the Daily Mail.