Humber College’s sustainability centre encourages students to dump plastic

Published On June 27, 2018 | By sebastianmahecha | Life, News


The Office of Sustainability at Humber College’s North campus. It’s urging students and staff to stop using single-use plastic bottles. Instead, it asks refillable water bottles be used to reduce waste. (Sebastian Mahecha)

Sebastian Mahecha

Humber College’s Office of Sustainability wants to make art with disposable plastic bottles that might end up in garbage dumps.

It is seeking students’ help in constructing an art installation to raise awareness about the wastefulness and environmental impact of single-serve water bottle consumption.

The art project’s construction will take place from June to August, and the Office is asking for empty single-use plastic water containers of one litre or less to construct the artwork.

Roma Malik, sustainability specialist with Humber, said the art installation will help to create a symbol about what disposal bottles means to society and the environment, but in a fun and creative way of engaging the Humber community.

“Originally, the whole purpose was to restrict the sales of water bottles on campus,” Malik said.

“We formed sub-group to explore how to imbed a restriction policy,” she said. “But what ended up happening was we thought to educate and engage the student body, staff and faculty on the detrimental effects of buying and selling single-use water on campus.”

A new study by the Ocean Clean Up foundation suggests The Great Pacific garbage patch is made of around 80,000 tonnes of plastic, roughly twice the size of Texas.

Bradley Staite, an industrial design student in charge of the artwork, said the art installation will help to create a symbol of awareness about what it means to the society and environment.

“The vision is to have a whale tail coming down from the ground, as big as eight feet tall, surrounded by the water bottles collected on campus,” Staite said. “This kind of shows directly what impact the use of single-serve water bottles will have on our environment and society, and where they will end up.”

Bradley Staite working on the plastic sculpture (Bradley Staite)

To construct this artwork the office of sustainability need about 1,500 plastic bottles, and at the moment they have gotten 250 bottles, he said.

“At the end of the day, we are animals too, so we wanted to create awareness that there is no distinction between affecting ourselves as well as affecting biodiversity,” Malik said. “There are statistics and recent studies have shown that even for us, from an anthropological perspective, consuming a single sip of plastic bottle water means consuming little plastic particles.

“We are struggling to reach the goal, but I think this clearly means we are not consuming that many bottles, so it’s hard to be very critical at the challenge in front of us because it means we are making an impact on society,” she said.

If students wish to assist with this project, they should deposit their bottles in one of the following places in North Campus: Gourmet Express, HRT Office (room B105) or the Capital Development and Facilities Management Office (D132). Water bottles for this initiative can also be dropped off at the Lakeshore Principal’s office at WEL 302.




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