Saves lives yet chokes our oceans. PLASTIC tours nationally with Science Gallery from October 25th

It is essential but polluting. Saves lives yet chokes our oceans. PLASTIC: CAN’T LIVE WITH IT, CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT opens at Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin on October 25th 2019

Plastic is cheap to create but expensive to dispose of. It can last forever but is often used only once. Plastic has changed our daily lives and our environment more than any other material. We can’t live without it.

Saves lives yet chokes our oceans. PLASTIC tours nationally with Science Gallery from October 25thOn Thursday 24th October, Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin launches its latest exhibition PLASTIC which interrogates our current and future relationship with the material – from design to medical innovation it has been revolutionary and yet it is destroying our planet.  The unsustainability of our relationship with plastic is well documented, but to stop using plastic is not an option. As an aesthetic material for artists and designers, it is unparalleled, and its use has revolutionised industrial design. More essentially, modern medicine relies on plastic so heavily that even the most basic medical procedures would be unimaginable without it.

The exhibition, which is produced with the support of Science Foundation Ireland, is Science Gallery Dublin’s first national exhibition. During 2020, the exhibition build will be reused and toured to Drogheda, Wexford, Galway, Limerick and Letterkenny.  In each location, the exhibition will launch with a new commission that has been co-created with the community to recontextualise the local conversation about plastic.  It will culminate in a one-day summit at the end of 2020 bringing together communities, artists, designers, researchers, students, scientists & policy-makers to evaluate and discuss our relationship with this material.

Plastics are a global (but relatively recent) problem, meaning our environment and our culture has plasticity – we can mould and change it, both intentionally and unintentionally. Plastic has great power, and with great power comes great responsibility. The question is, can we utilise this wonderful, terrible material, while fundamentally changing our approach to living with PLASTIC?

Exhibition highlights:

  • The Age of Trichology — Fishing nets account for a large percentage of all ocean plastic. This exhibit explores using human hair waste as an alternative to plastic and a sustainable solution for the fishing industry. More info here.
  • The People’s Plastic is inspired by the graphic warnings found on cigarette packs. Instead of promoting the sale of water with refreshing branding, the images on the bottles show the devastating impact plastic has on our environment and marine life. More info here
  • Med3DP showcases open-source plastic medical devices including splints and inhalers used for humanitarian healthcare using 3D printing technology.
  • Oil Painting – this oil painting never dries, nor does it sit on a canvas. Made with recycled engine oil, the piece challenges past concepts of what a ‘painting’ is and as oil supplies run out, will this painting transition from an artwork to a historical record of a resource that doesn’t exist anymore? More info here
  • An Bo Bheannaithe (The Blessed Cow) — This exhibit is based on an international research project where scientists collaborate with the agriculture industry to create a more sustainable dairy industry in Europe. One of the products from this industry is whey permeate, a bi-product of milk production but now it can be used to create bioplastic. By turning it into polylactic acid, it can be used in compostable plastic packaging. Could a move to bioplastics also help create a more sustainable dairy industry? and

PLASTIC runs at Science Gallery Dublin from 25th of October 2019 until 9th of February 2020. The full list of exhibits will be available at from the 24th of October.

Where: Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
When: 25.10.19 to 09.02.20
Opening hours: Tues-Fri, 11.00-18.00; Sat-Sun, 12.00-18.00

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