During EWWR we will launch of a piece of art made from plastic bags collected during the ‘Bag it up + reuse’ project to highlight the amount of plastic bags wasted in north London and raise awareness of the plastic bag levy, which came into force in October 2015.
Bag it Up and Reuse is a project that NLWA devised in an effort to engage customers of smaller shops in a partnership with local retailers, whereby customers are offered a reusable bag, in exchange for a used plastic one.
The aim of the project was to work with 21 small retailers across north London and encourage the use of reusable shopping bags by offering each one a total of 250 reusable bags to swap with their customers in exchange for a used plastic bag. The plastic bags collected as part of this project will be used to create an art installation which will be exhibited in a high profile location (Somerset House) to raise awareness of plastic bag reduction and reuse of shopping bags.
From outside the installation a passer by will see a simple white box. The box will say PAST on Side A with a door inviting them inside and Side B will say FUTURE with an exit door. The ambiguity of the box and its labelling is intended to spark the interest of a viewer and draw them
inside. The participant will begin by entering into Room 1, The Past. The walls and floor of thisroom are covered in mirrors and reflect a plinth or pillar in the centre of the room that displays the 5000 plastics bags
collected by NLWA. The mirrors will reflect the plastic bags, effectively multiplying the number of bags and creating busy,colourful and hectic images for the viewer. This room will display a simple message: ‘The Past This is the number of single use bags the average person used in a month. The mirrors in this room will generate some interesting visuals and may encourage viewers to take pictures of themselves in the room and post on social media. As the viewer moves from Room 1 to Room 2, there will be information about the 5p bag charge introduced within large retailers as well as the ‘Bag It Up and Reuse’ campaign. The viewer is then presented with a contrasting image. Room 2 is a completely white, plain room
with a plinth in the centre of the room displaying a reusable bag. The simplicity of the room will draw the eye to the bag and demonstrate the stark contrast in the amount of materials. As the viewer leave the room they are asked to pledge to stop using single use bags and make the most of
the reusable bag.