A crumpled plastic bottle may seem like a trivial thing to throw away, but when it is magnified to the size of three tennis courts, it becomes a powerful symbol of the pollution problem that plagues our planet. That is the message that Swiss-French artist SAYPE wants to convey with his latest land art painting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
SAYPE, who is known for his giant frescoes on grass, used chalk and charcoal to create a realistic image of a pet bottle left on the grass as littering in the Parc Bourget, near Lake Geneva. The artwork, which is visible from the air and from nearby buildings, is part of his “Beyond Walls” project, which aims to promote human values and social cohesion through art.
The artist said he chose the plastic bottle as a subject because it is one of the most common items found in nature, and because it represents the contradiction between our dependence on plastic and our disregard for its environmental impact. He said he hopes his painting will inspire people to reflect on their consumption habits and to take action to reduce waste and protect nature.
According to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Switzerland produces more plastic water per capita than any other European country, with an average of 125 kg per person per year. Only 30% of this waste is recycled, while the rest is incinerated or ends up in landfills or in the environment. The reports also warn that plastic pollution poses a serious threat to wildlife, human health, and climate change.
SAYPE’s artistic intervention is a timely reminder that we all have a responsibility to take care of our planet and to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. As he said in an interview with Reuters, “We have only one planet and it is our duty to protect it”.
The giant plastic bottle will remain in the park for two or three weeks, depending on the weather and the grass growth. It will then fade away naturally, leaving no trace behind. But hopefully, it will leave a lasting impression on the minds and hearts of those who see it, and motivate them to act for a cleaner and greener future.