In Hawaii, “Never turn your back on the ocean” is a common adage — a warning for anyone who visits the beach. But when Sophie Thomas, a London-based designer, visited the remote Kamilo Beach on Hawaii’s Big Island in 2014, the phrase took on new meaning. Thomas couldn’t keep her eyes off the devastatingly littered shores.
Thomas’s exhibit was featured as a part of RSA’s Great Recovery Project, which aims to “turn waste into value and reduce environmental impacts through system thinking.” Kamilo Beach is known locally in Hawaii as Trash Beach. It is considered one of the dirtiest beaches in the world, where man-made garbage and plastic debris from all over the Pacific wash up on the shore, sent from massive rotating vortexes of trash controlled by the ocean’s currents.
So much plastic has collected on the beach.