PLASTICON: The Trouble With Plastic

Apr 17, 2018

Robin Frohardt's art highlights the problem of single use plastics.
Credit Robin Frohardt

Mandatory recycling is law in some places around the United States, which makes people feel comfortable about their part in saving the planet. But what happens to single-use plastics, like take out containers, grocery bags, and Starbucks cup caps? They end up in the oceans, among other places.

With movements like the former plastic bag ban on the Outer Banks, Durham’s Skip The Straw campaign and the upcoming PLASTICON event at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, communities around the state are doing their part to make residents aware of the 8.5 million metric tons of plastic added to the oceans each year. Artist and Mellon DisTIL fellow Robin Frohardt takes a different approach to promoting awareness. She joins host Frank Stasio to share her process creating art from plastic bags. She hopes the absurdity of her work will make people think twice about that next cup of Starbucks. Frohardt is joined by Courtney Woods, professor in the department of environmental sciences and engineering at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health,  who researches where many plastics end up: rural minority communities. Together they share preview PLASTICON, which takes place this Saturday, April 21 at CURRENT Artspace & Studio in Chapel Hill.