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Today is your last chance to see Adrian Grenier’s Museum of Plastic

June 12, 2019 Scott Enman
A new museum from Adrian Grenier seeks to expose the dangers of plastics and encourage residents to use alternatives to plastic bottles. Photos by Matthew Lejune/Young Hero

Today is your last chance to tour New York City’s first pop-up Museum of Plastic, curated by actor Adrian Grenier, a Fort Greene resident and the co-founder of Lonely Whale, an environmental advocacy group.

The interactive experience highlights the impact of plastic bottles on marine life and how they can be substituted out for more eco-friendly options.

“Plastic in the ocean is an obvious problem,” Grenier told the Brooklyn Eagle. “If you are in the ocean, just ask a fish or whale or a turtle. But we don’t always see it in our everyday human experience. This is a PSA — a plastic service announcement — designed to get your attention.”

A whale tail made out of reusable containers.
A whale tail made out of reusable containers by artist Kiersten Stevens

The exhibit features a ’90s Room, where actress Zooey Deschanel stars in a “tongue-in-cheek infomercial” about plastic water bottles.

It also has a plastic-free Coral Room, which reveals what the ocean could look like without plastic pollution.

Several artistic installations show sustainable alternatives to plastic bottles. For example — a massive whale’s tail constructed out of dozens of reusable containers by artist Kiersten Stevens.

The dangers of plastics have been well documented. About 500 billion plastic bottles are used around the globe annually, and an estimated 8 to 12 million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year.

Here's a look outside of the Plastics Museum.
Here’s a look outside of the Plastics Museum.

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that his government would attempt to ban single-use plastics by as early as 2021.

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The material is dangerous because animals often mistake them for food. Sixty to 80 percent of all marine debris is composed of plastic, and more than 260 species have ingested or been entangled in plastic debris, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Oceanographers also fear that there may be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a British charity.

About 500 billion plastic bottles are used around the globe annually.
About 500 billion plastic bottles are used around the globe annually.

Closer to home, Councilmember Rafael Espinal has been an advocate for reducing New York City’s reliance on plastic. He introduced legislation to ban all single-use plastics in New York City, which will go before a hearing at the end of June.

In May 2018, Espinal and Grenier teamed up to introduce legislation banning plastic straws which will come to a vote later this summer.

“The Museum of Plastic is an amazing project for creatively educating New Yorkers on how to hydrate without plastic,” Espinal told the Eagle. “This innovative pop-up is also a great testament to the commitment of Lonely Whale and Adrian Grenier in their work to fight climate change by reducing the use of single-use plastics. I’m proud to have been able to work alongside them in this fight.”

Museum of Plastics is at 473-475 Broadway in Lower Manhattan and is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.

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