The Globe in a Plastic Bag, Ocean to go – by Yasmin Palij

„No Water, No Life. No Blue, No Green.“ (Marine Biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle)

300 million tons of plastic are produced every year. 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year. Plastic is cheap. versatile. ideal. But not its occurrence in the universal sea.

The artwork can be understood as a provocative and exuberant demonstration of the terrifying fact that we are responsible for over 150 million tonnes of plastic waste in the ocean today. Nearly everyone, everywhere and every day one comes into contact with plastics – especially plastic packaging. If current plastic consumption patterns and accumulating amounts of plastic waste remain the same it is expected to double over the next 20 years. This artwork is a proclamation to society that each of us (must) bear the responsibility to make a change for the environment and future generations.

Ocean to go.

Covered by a blue plastic bag, it can be guessed by the observer that the globe is underneath. On the one hand, the blue plastic envelope should represent the sea and on the other hand, it reflects the disturbing plastic problematic in the sea around the globe. As the title already indicates, this artwork should emphasize that the sea is ´floating´ in a plastic bag. On the surface, a variety of plastic materials (trash) is attached, which should draw attention to the so-called ´plastic islands´ existing in the North and South Pacific, in the North and South Atlantic and in the Indian Ocean.


Did you know?

For the plastic island in the North Pacific, which is best researched so far, a size of 700,000 to more than 15,000,000 km² is assumed. By comparison, Europe has an area of 10,180,000 km².

If one looks closely, small mirror fragments can be discovered which are placed upon the plastic. Hence, by looking at the plastic the observer will see his face at the same time reflected in the mirror pieces.This effect is meant to emphasize the responsibility of everyone on this planet for the enormous amounts of plastic in the ocean and that each plastic item hides a face.

„Change is possible. It starts with us.“ (Craig Leeson, Regisseur)

The final artwork for the exhibition is going to be in a size of a gymnastic ball which will function as a rotatable globe. Hence, the observer is able to fully explore the artwork in 360° and examine in detail different sources of trash which ended up in the sea. 

Which material is going to be used for the final composition of the artwork?

Following plastic waste is going to be attached to the surface of the plastic globe:                          Water and soft drink bottles, salad domes, biscuit trays, freezer bags, dip tubs, crinkly shopping bags, juice bottles, shampoo, chemical and detergent bottles, cosmetic containers, commercial cling wrap, rubbish bags, microwave dishes, potato chip bags, CD cases, water station cups, plastic cutlery, video cases, foamed polystyrene, hot drink cups, hamburger take-away clamshells, foamed meat trays, protective packaging for fragile items,multi-material packaging etc.

“A new Value Chain Management of Marine Biomass from the Baltic Sea”. Yasmin Palij’ Master Thesis

The proposed concept aims to recycle beach wrack (accumulated macro vegetation e.g. seagrass, seaweed and algae onshore) by energy recovery and the production of biochar find more. The included activities also aim at locally balancing the nutrient flows thereby mitigating the eutrophication problems in the Baltic Sea (see more here ) by removing the accumulated marine biomass for Biogas and biochar production. Therefore, valuable and scarce nutrients such as Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) included in the biomass are recovered via pyrolysis and bound in the form of biochar meanwhile sequestering carbon in soils. Resulting from this, accelerated human-induced nutrient Input from agricultural activities, human-induced etc. into the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea are looped back into the System.

Thus, the proposed Research will contribute to the implementation of circular economy concepts and EC legislation on waste, in particular, the directive on waste disposal, especially in the Areas of recovery and reuse.

This study will explore the potential of converting beach wrack into valuable products for the purpose of providing an “environmentally- friendly” disposal Option for coastal communities.

Hence, in regard to the profound literature Review for the Master Thesis and in the context of THE UNIVERSAL SEA studies have revealed that high amounts of plastic are also components of beach wrack. On this account, Palij is highly interested to investigate further in plastic Recycling approaches and would like to meet experts in this area.

Three actions

The three actions will take place in in Helsinki (Finland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) and Pristina (Kosovo).

Interaction with the public:

Awareness Campaign- What goes around comes around. Think circular!

We cannot stop waste production entirely, but everyone can make a significant contribution.

The first Action is going to be a theoretical part of ideas on information boards around the artwork giving ideas how to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic in the everyday life.

  1. 3 Rs- Reduce- Reuse- Recycle

The most important action we need to take is to REDUCE plastic consumption and thereby its waste.

These are some ideas:

  • Many products can be bought loose and in less packaging; DIY products (such as screws and paint brushes); fruit and vegetables; meats and cheese; stationery
  • Avoid buying lots of different cleaning products which are designed for different purposes, choose one multi-purpose cleaner instead
  • Pack your lunch in a reusable box rather than foil or cling film
  • Borrow, rent or share items that are used infrequently
  • Purchase items in containers that can be refilled.
  • Choose long-lasting metal or wood toys and products rather than plastic.
  • Use stainless steel water bottles, or reuse glass beverage bottles. Use canning jars and glass containers for storage.

If daily plastic consumption cannot be avoided or reduced think of ways you could REUSE items.

  • Repair damaged things instead of buying new items.
  • Take bags made of fabric to the supermarket, shop, city etc.
  • Reuse items. For example, yoghurt pots or plastic bottles (without deposit) are ideal for growing seedlings.

When certain items cannot be reused make sure it can be RECYCLED.

  • Choose products that come in packaging which you know can be recycled.

The second proposed action includes the interaction with visitors. They are required to search in their handbags or pockets if they are carrying any plastic packaging with them. If they do so, they have the possibility to attach this item to the artwork signalizing that they recognize that each of us contributed to this scenario and is responsible to take action.

The third proposed action is a booth, where the visitors can get creative. Different sources of plastic trash such as bottles, plastic dishes, yoghurt pots etc. will be available and instruction for do-it-yourself products will be described in detail and exhibited.


Yasmin Palij was Born in 1992 in Bonn, Germany.
In 2015, she graduated and obtained my degree of Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences (Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg, Germany). During her Bachelor, she was also studying for 6 months abroad in Málaga, Spain. Since 2016, she started a Master Program (TH-Köln University of Applied Sciences). In 2017, during her semester break, she went to Bogotá, Colombia for a two-month internship in the German company Ferrostaal S.A.S. in the area of agro-waste management. Also in 2017, Yasmin Palij completed an internship in the German company PYREG GmbH for environmental technology. During the internship, she had the chance to discover the potential of up-cycling different kinds of biomass. She worked mainly in the area of phosphor-recycling of sewage sludge. In the moment, she is writing her master thesis in cooperation with the company about a ´New Value Chain Management for Beach Wrack in the Baltic Sea´.

*In my free time I love to paint with acryl. In particular oceans and waves.* – Yasmin Palij

…coming soon! Planning my first Exhibition

I am planning an exhibition as a charity event taking place in June in the area of Cologne. For this event, I am reaching and mobilizing different artists from all around Germany who are willing to contribute their paintings to the auction which will take place on the exhibition day. The auctioned money will be targeted as a donation for an organization which works in Malawi in the sector of education. Further details are coming soon!!!

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