QCOSTARICA – A fat, multicolored cloud seems to float below a large sign in Santa Ana. But second glance reveals that it has a strangely pebbly texture. No, you haven’t had one too many Imperials.
The apparition is a work by artist Francesco Bracci to promote the campaign by the non-profit Preserve Planet organization. It is made up of 3,500 plastic bottles and represents the 55 cubic meters of plastic that a Costa Rican family of five uses in a year.
The sign reads “La verdad siempre sale a flote; reciclar no es suficente.” This translates to mean that the truth is always floating near us: recycling isn’t enough. Its message is aimed at using less plastic and is on the road that leads from Santa Ana to the port of Caldera.
Luis Diego Marin of the local branch of the group explained to La Nacion, “This initiative intends that each day fewer plastic bottles and sacks and in their place use sustainable and ecologically responsible items such as glass bottles (better yet if returnable) or aluminum or stainless steel to carry water…”
He also counsels carrying groceries in cloth bags. It’s no accident that the sign is on the road that is a gateway to the Pacific beaches where marine wildlife of often killed slowly and agonizingly by choking on plastic. River creatures also tend to eat that last discarded potato chip, plastic sack and all.
According to Preserve Planet, Costa Ricans use an incredible 622 million plastic containers per year, of which about 560 million end up in the trash or dirtying up nature. Less than 13% are recycled. Worse, the plastic bottle will endure a thousand years. Volunteers cleaning beaches collected a little more than 97 metric tons of solid waste.
Article by iNews.co.cr, with editing by the Q