From: Allison Winter, ENN
Published December 26, 2012 11:45 AM

Come With Me on a Plastic Carpet Ride!

Cities are often littered with trash and plastics on every street corner. The haphazard candy wrapper, bottle, or plastic bag blowing in the wind creates eyesores for locals and tourists alike. But what is the litter situation in the desert? You won't find too much garbage where there aren't any people, that is unless it's a piece of plastic artwork.

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Dutch collective, WE MAKE CARPETS, was recently commissioned by the Taragalte Festival in southern Morocco to turn ordinary plastics into a magic carpet piece of artwork. The Taragalte Festival is a yearly event that brings together the cultural exchange and sustainable development through tourism in the region. The focus of this year's November program was women's creativity and everyday life in the desert.

Moroccan carpets date back centuries and these tapestries that were once used for protection against cold weather are now also used for conveying local folklore, symbolism, and weaving techniques in their design. However, one temporary, contemporary "rug" on display this year was made out of a different kind of material: plastics.

Made of plastic bottles of different colors, shapes, and sizes, the bottle carpet is exquisitely designed into intricate patterns allowing viewers to see the waste in a different light.

In a modern society where plastic bags and bottles are gaining more attention to become more environmentally friendly, the festival made an attempt to show patrons that while some Moroccans are beginning to understand the importance of proper waste management, the lack of recycling infrastructure and proper education has left much of North African behind the times.

Plastic bottles not only clog waterways but can leaching harmful toxins into the ground and endangering wildlife. They also make up a large percentage of the litter and pollution we see along roadways and rivers.

Turning plastic trash into a treasure that looks like a carpet helps to convey the notion that all materials are both precious and valuable, especially when every carpet has a story to tell about one particular aspect of Morocco culture and her people. In a nation with nomadic desert people, the plastic art installation is sure to inspire patrons and create discussion over the abundance of plastics and what can be done to minimize plastic waste.

Read more at Green Prophet.

Plastic Carpet image courtesy of WE MAKE CARPETS.

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