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Tilly The Turtle – My Plastic Pledge

In 2018 we were approached by Hull University with the task of raising awareness around the issue of plastic waste, and in particular single use plastics finding their way into the ocean. We devised a multi-faceted approach which would combine public engagement activities and high impact messaging and that would result in a major installation to be unveiled at the 2018 British Science Festival opening. Stage one involved the design of an art piece that would engage with the public as well as national media. The 15ft high turtle that was to become known as Tilly was planned and a two week build time scale was scheduled, but the build itself would not take place for almost four months. In that time we set ourselves the task of collecting at least 10,000 pieces of plastic waste through a series of public engagement stunts, centred around festivals and the University itself. The initial public launch of the idea, and the first appearance of the #myplasticpledge messaging was at the Humber Business Day, held inside Bridlington Spa. In what was traditionally a place for corporate exhibition stands and roller banners, we brought the outside in and built a beach in the centre of the exhibition space. Hand built wooden beach huts, real plants and rocks, an ice-cream cart and deck chairs sat upon almost three tons of sand. The indoor beach certainly caught people’s imagination and kick started the campaign in style. Our second installation was at Hull’s most popular music festival, The Humber Street Sesh. In order ...

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