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Exhibits

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On display for a limited time: Straw Forward art installation


The Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program’s highly anticipated Straw Forward opens in a new window art installation is now on display in Carnegie Science Center’s RiverView Café through Fri., Feb. 15, 2019.  This colorful exhibit seeks to inspire meaningful dialogue around the global-scale issues of single-use plastic waste and plastic pollution.

Straw Forward demonstrates a community-wide, collaborative effort to accelerate an important message about the global issue of plastic pollution—from a local perspective. In addition to plastic straws – more than 25,000 plastic straws were collected from 37 Pittsburgh-based restaurants, nonprofits, and businessesbetween June and October of this year – the installation also includes discarded plastic-based items pulled from the banks of the Allegheny River with Allegheny CleanWays opens in a new window, yarn from First Mile (of Thread International opens in a new window) that was upcycled from plastic bottles saved by citizens in developing countries, and other repurposed materials from Construction Junction opens in a new window and the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse opens in a new window.

The concept, design, and construction of the installation was developed through a partnership with the creative team from Pittsburgh-based Shift Collaborative opens in a new window.

Single-use plastic straws represent one small component of the negative ecological impact of plastic pollution and overuse, ranging from disposable items like take-out containers and water bottles, to beach toys and commercial plastic waste (e.g. barrels, fishing line/nets). Straws also represent a challenge in the waste stream as they cannot be recycled by traditional means. For plastics that aren’t disposed of responsibly or can’t be recycled, they continually break up over time, turning into tiny bits of microplastics that clog the bellies of marine life and possibly ending up in the food humans eat. 

Sustainable Pittsburgh and Carnegie Science Center recognize the importance of keeping the needs of the disability rights community in these conversations as plastic straws and other single-use plastics improve the livability and access for people living with certain disabilities and medical conditions. Best Buddies Pennsylvania opens in a new window is a partner of the Straw Forward project.



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