Plastic not so fantastic

Humbling evidence of the scale of London’s plastic problem has been unveiled at ZSL London Zoo this Thursday (May 24) – a building made of 15,000 discarded single-use bottles collected from London and its waterways. 

London-based artist and architect Nick Wood
Dubbed the Space of Waste, the 16 ft-high installation commissioned by ZSL has been created by London-based artist and architect Nick Wood, using unrecycled plastic trash collected from all around the city – including bottles fished out of the Thames by members of the ZSL-led #OneLess campaign.
 
The structure - which took three weeks to prepare in the artist’s studio and took another three days to erect on site - houses information about plastic pollution and the small steps everyone can take to help tackle the growing issue.  
 
The final bottle was placed atop the epic construction by ZSL staff alongside children from Camden’s Netley Primary School and Centre for Autism, who were given an exclusive sneak peek at the build at Thursday’s unveiling. 

ZSL's Fiona Llewellyn adds the final bottle
The topping-out ceremony took place ahead of the building’s official opening on Saturday May 26 – the start of the Zoo’s week-long Superheroes and Villains event, which will celebrate the heroes and villains of conservation. The structure will be home to environmental supervillain Plastico, who will also be making regular appearances throughout the summer. 

ZSL ditched disposable plastic bottles at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos in June 2016 as part of the #OneLess campaign, which aims to protect the world’s oceans from the devastating impacts of plastic pollution by encouraging people to make one simple change – ditch single-use plastic bottles and use a refillable one instead. 

Children from Camden's Netley Primary School and Centre for Autism

visit zsl london zoo 

More news from ZSL

Two porcupettes with an adult porcupine born at London Zoo

Two adorable baby porcupines born at London Zoo

Baby sloth holds onto his mum Marilyn

London Zoo celebrates not so slow start to the year with birth of adorable baby sloth

Meerkats lend a paw at the annual 2023 London Zoo stocktake

 Zookeepers at ZSL London Zoo have dusted off their clipboards, calculators and cameras – as they counted up all the animals at the Zoo’s annual...