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Throwaway plastic floats idea at Canary Wharf's 'Winter Lights' festival of tacking waste

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 January 2019

Floating islands of plastic waste at Canary Wharf's Winter Lights festival by Swanlea School pupils. Picture: Lesley Johnson

Floating islands of plastic waste at Canary Wharf's Winter Lights festival by Swanlea School pupils. Picture: Lesley Johnson

Lesley Johnson/Abbey Wood Studios

A new installation in this year’s Canary Wharf Winter Lights festival made by schoolchildren from Whitechapel has made quite a splash.

Pupils created this floating plastic waste 'island' at Swanlea Secondary's after-school art club. Picture: Lesley JohnsonPupils created this floating plastic waste 'island' at Swanlea Secondary's after-school art club. Picture: Lesley Johnson

The ‘floating islands’ by artist Mürüde Mehmet and 15 pupils at Swanlea Secondary were crafted from discarded plastic bottles which they painted in fluorescent colours.

This was to show the waste created by ‘throwaway’ plastic as the sculptures drifted down streams in Jubilee Park, mimicking how throwaway plastic ends up in the Thames and out to sea.

“Our Winter Lights theme this year is sustainability and reducing waste,” Canary Wharf Group’s curator Keith Watson explained. “This comes from our ‘breaking the plastic habit’ campaign to challenge the throwaway culture and ultimately to become a single-use plastic-free district.”

The pupils gave up their time working on the ‘islands’ at an after-school art club with artist Mehmet to create the thought-provoking installations, which have been popular at the lights festival.

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