The Museum of Plastic is the latest Instagram friendly pop up to open in the United States, following in the footsteps of the Museum of Ice Cream, the Egghouse and Candytopia.
However the Museum of Plastic which has opened in New York’s Soho neighbourhood is trying to do more than fill the photostreams of Instagramming millennials. This interactive exhibit is part of an ongoing campaign to put an end to single-use plastic water bottles by activist group Lonely Whale and ocean conservancy Point Break Foundation.
“We are committed to inspiring people through positivity,” according to Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale. “We want to engage people in the conversation and get them to be curious,” she told AFAR magazine. “We’re hoping this space inspires and gets people engaged while they have a little fun. And then, gosh darn it, do something.”
The pop-up experience challenges visitors to think about the environmental impact of single use plastic through a series of art installations that are informative, inspiring, and highly Instagrammable.
Highlights in the Museum of Plastic include a giant receipt showing how revenue generated from bottled water is projected to reach $200 billion by the end of 2022 and what you could do with the money instead, Zooey Deschanel starring in a “tongue-in-cheek infomercial” about plastic water bottles and an exhibit which reveals what the ocean could look like without plastic pollution.
Emma Riley, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Lonely Whale told NBC News, “We’re asking consumers to engage with a lifestyle that will positively impact on the planet”. With the charity behind the exhibition pushing for plastic straws to be banned in the United States, the organisers seem determined to turn single use plastic into something that you can only see in a museum.
About the author – David Ennes
David Enns is a freelance journalist working at the junction of technology and art. He has contributed to many of the best known arts publications in the United States and is currently working on his first book which will examine the Art in Virtual Reality.