(May 02, 2018) --
The University of Alabama Marine Science Club used bottle caps to illustrate the impact plastic debris can have on marine life.
"Bottle caps are a particularly poignant medium to work with, because they are everyday objects that we're all familiar with. Yet, very few of them are able to be recycled due to inconsistencies with plastic type," Blair Morrison, president of the UA Marine Science Club, explained.
The project took about two years to complete, and started with members of the UA Science Club and the Alpha Omega Epsilon sorority sorting bottle caps collected by Dr. Ryan Earley.
"The amount of bottle caps that Dr. Earley had collected was staggering. The pile took up an entire corner of a room," Morrison said. "We still have large moving boxes full of green Dasani, orange Gatorade, and clear Nestle Purelife caps."
With the caps sorted, Morrison said the students started creating, but not with any particular design in mind.
"We started with an idea and let the shapes and colors of the bottle caps guide the rest of the process," Morrison explained. "It was really important for us to showcase animals and habitats that are being disproportionately affected by plastic pollution.
In a year's time, Morrison said they completed six murals. The pieces were put on display for the first time at the Blue and Green Sustainability Gala hosted by the UA Marine Science Club, the Alabama Museum of Natural History, and the Alabama Environmental Council.
The six murals will be displayed indefinitely at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.