These Animals Are Made Out of Trash!

The sculptures, and others like them, could help save animals from a dangerous problem.

By Tricia Culligan
From the March/April 2021 Issue

Do you notice anything strange about these animals? They’re made out of trash!

The sculptures were created by a group called Washed Ashore. They’re trying to save sea animals from a deadly enemy—plastic. 


Kid volunteers clean up plastic on a beach.

Oceans of Plastic 

Over 90 percent of the plastic we use is never recycled. Plastic products like bags, bottles, and straws often become litter on the street. Rain and wind can carry that litter into storm drains or rivers that flow into the ocean. Each year, millions of pounds of plastic trash ends up in our oceans.

All this plastic can be deadly for ocean animals. Thousands of animals die each year from plastic. They can mistake it for food and eat it. They can also get tangled in it. 

Making a Change 

Washed Ashore wants to help. Volunteers collect ocean trash from beaches. Then they work with Washed Ashore’s artists to create sculptures
of sea animals. The statues represent animals that are hurt by plastic litter.

Angela Haseltine Pozzi started Washed Ashore. She hopes the art will inspire us to keep plastic out of our oceans. We can use fewer plastic products and recycle the plastic that we do use. Or we can turn our trash into art! “Every action counts,” she says. 

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Can't Miss Teaching Extras
Watch This

Your students will love learning more about how Washed Ashore takes plastic from the beach and turns it into art in this 3-minute video.

Look At This

Share Washed Ashore’s photo gallery with your students to explore more sculptures by the organization. Have your students pick their favorite sculptures.