Plastic Ocean (Orca) by Lyubava Fartushenko, 2017, watercolor
Each year, consumers use an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags worldwide. Most plastic bags are not recycled; on average, only one bag gets recycled out of 200 (source: Conserving Now). One plastic bag can take a thousand years to decompose. Many plastic bags end up in the oceans where they entangle wildlife and get mistaken for food.
My watercolor, Plastic Ocean (Orca) is part of a series that focuses on endangered species, including the vulnerable orcas. Since the public seems immune to the unfortunately typical images of wildlife entrapped by plastic bags, I decided to portray this danger in a more symbolic way by dramatically exaggerating scalings — a killer whale is sealed in a plastic fish bag. The intent of this series is to bring attention to how plastic bags negatively impact our oceans.