The new mural sits on the wall of the old pier in North Berwick Harbour.
It began when Elizabeth Vischer, a local from East Lothian, set herself the challenge of carrying out 100 beach cleans during lockdown. She collected 26,513 pieces of plastic from Longniddry Bents. Plastic waste is a huge threat to wildlife and the environment. Currently, only 20% of plastic waste is recycled. Julie Barnes, a local artist was commissioned to build a mural with the plastic waste. 33,000 pieces were used. After being washed, the pieces were laid out on a sheet of 1m squared paper then photographed and sorted according to type and place found. As this progressed, they decided to take studio photographs of all the items found once sorted which took three weeks. Some things had to be discarded either because they were too dirty or too bulky to form part of the mural. This included sanitary items, bags of dog poo, wet wipes, ropes, netting and stoma bags. Julie Barnes then sorted the kept items by colour and size before completing the eight pictures that comprise the mural.
The Scottish Seabird Centre is very close to the harbour and has a free exhibition of the studio photographs of the sorted plastic.
It is on from 25 March to 25th June 2023. I was there shortly after it opened at 10am and it was very quiet. One thing the Seabird Centre is asking everyone to do is to remove five pieces of rubbish every time you visit a beach and dispose of it properly. Apparently, there are more than 5,000 bits of plastic on every miles of the UK beaches.