Hartlepool woman's remarkable art creations from dumped plastic
A Hartlepool woman is waging a campaign to end plastic pollution - by turning it into art.
Diane Watson is an artist and an active environmentalist and her current work focuses on the myriad of plastic items washed up by surge tides along the North East coast.
She walks along beaches each day and has a collection of thousands of plastic tops, toys, bottles, lighters and other discarded items.
They are used to create kaleidoscopic patterns and turn thrown away items into something beautiful.
Diane said: “Mother Nature is the last woman who would want us adding to the pollution of the planet.
“Plastic pollution of our seas is at an epidemic level with 8 million tonnes of plastic entering the sea every year.
“All of the plastic applicators used in my work have been collected from the beach, flushed down the toilet and washed into the sea. Let’s get empowered and start a conversation with our daughters, together we can put an end to this particular plastic pollution.”
To find out more, Diane visited a Northumbrian Water pumping station and learned about the work it does to keep waterways and beaches clean and pollution free.
She headed to the Seaton Headworks pumping station where treatment works manager Kevin Bouttell, production team leader Chris Fryer and operator Rob Stewart showed her how the process works.
She was shown the screen house and what is captured every day and was shocked at the volume.
Kevin Bouttell said: “As a company we are passionate about protecting the environment and we are always really keen to get this message across to our customers and local communities in any way that we can.
“Diane’s work is fantastic and sends a powerful message about protecting the environment in a really creative way. Everyone can play their part in this though. Think about what you flush down the toilet.
Diane’s visit coincides with the launch of Northumbrian Water’s Refill campaign which encourages people to ditch single use water bottles and use a refillable bottle instead.
Go to http://www.refill.org.uk/ for more.