Microplastic Exhibition for Copenhagen Zoo

The consumption of plastics worldwide has been increasing at an alarming rate. Often, our plastic waste ends up in nature and, since most commonly-used plastics take a very long time to degrade, it arrives again in our food chain as microplastics. Microplastics are small plastic pieces less than 5 mm long. Because of their tiny size, they can escape water treatment filtration systems and end up either in the oceans or in other water bodies. A range of sea life including zooplankton, octopus, clams, oysters, fish and seabirds can ingest microplastics, which may result in health impacts. Microplastics also enters the food chain when carnivorous animals eat prey animals contaminated with microplastics. Eventually, microplastics move all the way up to the top of the food chain and end up on our plates.

To shine light on this topic and to create more awareness on our usage of single-use plastics we have created this exhibition for the Copenhagen Zoo, portraying eight different foods that are prone to contain microplastics. You’d be surprised to find out that we consume microplastics through not only seafood. Even water is not safe from microplastics when bought in returnable plastic bottles as the bottles have the highest content of microplastic. Scientists have also found microplastics in beer, honey and sea salt.

The impact of microplastics on our health is not yet clear. Still, we know that plastic waste is harming nature. What can we do to prevent this? Reduce the problem at its source, namely, reduce the use of plastics in our daily life.

Concept & art direction: Sweet Sneak Studio
Photography: Morten Bentzon