This is the moment a huge statue is unveiled on the holiday island of Tenerife made from some of the 30 tons of plastic removed from the coastlines since last year – to highlight the effects of plastic waste on the environment.
The statue made with recycled objects, designed in the style of Canarian painter Nestor Martin-Fernandez de la Torre (1887-1938), was unveiled at the University of La Laguna located in Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands in front of a crowd of 500 people, including island officials and invited schoolchildren.
The project was the brainchild of the University of La Laguna and the Loro Parque Foundation to highlight the concerns of how plastic waste affects the environment.
Both Tenerife-based institutions have joined forces to fight against the use of plastics and reduce the effects of climate change with their project ‘Bye Bye Plastic’.
University rector Rosa Aguilar said the Loro Parque Foundation and the University of La Laguna previously teamed up in 2017 when they introduced a series of measures to find out how noise pollution affects cetaceans and another study in the field of zoology on marine mammals.
Thanks to their ‘Bye Bye Plastic’ project, over 30 tons of plastic waste has been eliminated from the island since the beginning of 2018, according to the Loro Parque Foundation.
The eco-statue unveiled at the University of La Laguna was sculpted by Paolo Bonano from mostly used cans, bottles and plastic tops in the style of famous local artist Nestor Martin-Fernandez de la Torre.
During a talk before the statue unveiling, the Loro Parque Foundation President Christoph Kiessling stressed that the accumulation of plastics in the oceans seriously affects the world’s marine biodiversity.
According to figures from the United Nations, presented at the session by Kiessling, 13 million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year, which causes, among other issues, the death of around 100,000 marine species annually.
Additionally, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
Kiessling told Central European News (CEN): “All of this makes the role of wildlife conservation centres essential in protecting species for future generations.”
Attendees at the unveiling included Christoph Kiessling, Vice-President of the Loro Parque Company and President of the Loro Parque Foundation, his father Wolfgang Kiessling, President of the Loro Parque Company, and former Tenerife president Ricardo Melchior.
Also present at the ceremony were university rector Rosa Aguilar, La Laguna Mayor Luis Yeray Gutierrez, and island Vice-President Enrique Arriaga.
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