Johannis Tsoumas

DOI Number
First page
Last page


Amidst the technological, social, economic, and cultural developments of the past few decades, the notorious environmental problem seems to be exacerbated, overshadowing any glimmer of optimism about the future of planet Earth. This is largely attributed to the thoughtless production and use of plastic products, but mainly to their reckless management as waste. Oceans, rivers, lakes, and many terrestrial areas of the planet suffocate under the masses of synthetic objects that displace any form of life. The voices of despair are getting louder and louder all over the world, but governments in many countries pretend to hear nothing. Nevertheless, protest reactions coming from the world art and design community constitute an important visual, functional, as well as a sociopolitical movement with multiple goals.

This article does not simply aim at describing and analyzing the environmental problem through the aggravating presence of plastic waste. Its main purpose is to comment on and decode the works of selected artists from all over the world, works which are exclusively inspired and made of plastic trash. Overall, their work constitutes a form of artistic innovation and, at the same time, a form of severe protest and activism which aims at awakening the world aesthetic, and mainly environmental consciousness.


plastic waste, oceans, environmental pollution, recycling, works of art and design

Full Text:



Barthes, R., (1973), Mythologies. Glasgow: Paladin Books, Glasgow.

Carlson, C., (2019), ‘The 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill: An environmental 'shot heard around the world'’, [Online]. Available: [Accessed on 28 October 2019].

Earth Policy Institute (2018), ‘Plastic Bags Fact Sheet’. [Online]. Available: [Accessed on 20 October 2018].

Fenichell, S. (1996), Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century. New York: Harper Collins.

Fotografiska Museum (2019) ‘Mandy Barker: Sea of Artifacts’. [Online]. Available: [Accessed on 2 November 2019].

Freinkel, S., (2011), Plastics: A Toxic Love Story. New York: Henry Holt.

Johston, I., (2016), ‘Plastic should be considered toxic once it gets into the environment, MPs told’. Independent. [Online]. Available: [Accessed on 29 October 2019].

Jouano, E., (2000), ‘Pascale Marthine Tayou’. Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. 2000 (11-12)

Knight, G., (2012), Hot Topics: Plastic Pollution. London: Capstone Global Library Ltd.

Lintsen, H. W., Hollestelle M. J., Hölsgens H. N. M., (2017), The plastics revolution: how the Netherlands became global player in plastics. Eindhoven: Foundation for the History of Technology.

Miao, S., (2016), ‘Exciting New Horizons Ahead’. Perspective: Inspiring Architecture and Design. 7.

Mieszkowski, K., (2007), ‘Plastic bags are killing us’ [Online]. Available: [Accessed on 31 October 2019].

Mustalish, R., (2004), ‘Modern Materials: Plastics.’ In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [Online]. Available: [Accessed on 31 October 2019].

Nguyen, V. H., (2003), ‘The Mid-Autumn Festival, Yesterday and Today’, in Vietnam: Journeys of Body, Mind, and Spirit. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

O’ Halloran, C. & Fournier, G., (2019), ‘Turning Ocean Garbage into Advocacy Art’, Global Journalist, Missouri School of Journalism.

Teegarden, D. M., (2004), Polymer Chemistry: Introduction to an Indispensable Science. Arlington VA: NSTA Press.

Tsoumas, J., (2019), ‘Designing Single-Use Plastic Products: Far from the Earthly Paradise’. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences (ASRJETS). 52, (1).

Valleri, M., (2016), ‘L’ installazione all’ isola di Mozia: Help, il grido del Mediterraneo’. Tempi 1 (3).

Wagner, T. P., (2017), ‘Reducing single-use plastic shopping bags in the USA’, Journal of Waste Management, 70.

Wolfe, A. J., (2008), ‘Nylon: A Revolution in Textiles’. Chemical Heritage Magazine, 26 (3).

Wright, K., (2009), ‘Pascale Marthine Tayou’. [Online]. Available: [Accessed on 1 November 2019].

Zhang, S., (2017), ‘Half of All Plastic That Has Ever Existed Was Made in the Past 13 Years’. [Online]. Available: [Accessed on 29 October 2019].



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2466-2887
Online ISSN: 2466-2895