A team of eco-warriors braved the cold weather to begin construction on a massive 3D plastic whale sculpture at the weekend.
Dean Knox of Jonginenge Eco Adventure and his team will create the giant sculpture, which is modelled on a life-sized baleen whale and will tower 2.2m high.
It will be displayed on the fields near Pinecreek at the Big Green Expo, which starts on Friday, to create awareness about the impact of single-use plastics on the environment.
“Whales are massive, and they visit our coastline each year from June to November.
“Most are filter feeders, taking massive gulps of water to feed on plankton or krill soup, but instead they get a stomach full of plastics and microplastics. Jonginenge is derived from the Xhosa words jonga umnenge, which means ‘look at the whale’,” said Knox.
With a spine, skull and cross sections made out of recycled plywood and PVC plumbing pipe, the whale skeleton will be packed full of eco-bricks and Knox is calling on all eco-warriors in the city to sign their eco bricks and add them to the community artwork over the days leading up to the expo.
“This is a very ambitious project that is impossible to complete without the assistance of many people,” said Knox, adding that scores of fellow passionate environmentalists, his Jonginenge staff members, schools, surfers and avid beach goers had jumped on board to make the project a success.
Knox said the main structure would go up on Wednesday. The giant whale will appear to be swimming in an ocean of grass, with its tail standing alone a few metres behind the body.
The tail will double as a pledge board, where visitors will be encouraged to sign their names pledging to reduce their plastic footprint.
“We want it to be an interactive experience,” he said.
The eco bricks, which are dense in single-use plastics that would otherwise end up in landfills or the ocean, will be re-used for other positive projects after the expo, Knox said.
The founder of the Big Green Expo, Richard Patten, said the giant sculpture was a great addition to the event.
“The expo is all about sustainability, and we have about 40 stalls, from water saving to compost production.
“It’s fantastic to have a project of this magnitude promoting plastic awareness for the event,” said Patten.
- The Big Green Expo takes place on September 14, 15 and 16 at the fields adjacent to Pinecreek. Entrance is free.