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Trash Fashion Show in Marin to Reduce Ocean Plastic with SeaTurtles.org in News

The plastic in our oceans is killing thousands of sea turtles and marine mammals each year, which is why Dr. Chris Pincetich with SeaTurtles.org partnered with Project Green Runway in California to promote sea turtle conservation at their inaugural Trashion Show. Dr. Pincetich spoke to the audience and models about the direct action they can all take to reduce their use of disposable plastic items that commonly find their way to the ocean and become marine plastic pollution, steps outlined at SeaTurtles.org/plastics

SeaTurtles.org is leading Marine Debris Action Teams of volunteers to clean beaches along sea turtle feeding areas, perform scientific assessments of the plastic pollution problem, and increase education and awareness of the epidemic of plastic in the ocean and its impacts to endangered sea turtles. The partnership with Project Green Runways exemplifies the success of diverse outreach and education strategy! Read the story below and share this page on your social networks.

Project Green Runway stages fantastic plastic ‘trashion’ show

June 16, 2012, By Paul Liberatore, Marin Independent Journal

Nineteen-year-old Nadja Klein looked every inch the beautiful bride Saturday, modeling a frothy white wedding dress made of trash — discarded plastic bags, pop-top rings from aluminum cans and other junk picked up from Kehoe Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore.

The dress, created by San Geronimo Valley artist Judith Selby Lang, was a highlight of Project Green Runway, a “trashion” show staged at Marin Recycling Center and Sanitary Service in San Rafael. It featured 30 young models, from 12 to 24, striding the runway in outfits made of bicycle tire tubes, bottle caps, white construction plastic, single-use plastic grocery bags, plastic playing cards, shocking pink bubble wrap and other environmentally destructive junk.

“Before this I never thought about what people could actually do with this plastic,” said Klein, a German au pair living in Novato. “We throw it away and never think about it again. It’s gone. But this showed us we can use that plastic to make beautiful things. I was surprised by that.”

San Anselmo artist Elise Cheval and West Marin ecologist and health educator Christin Anderson came up with the idea for the Green Runway Project after meeting four months ago at Mill Valley’s O’Hanlon Center for the Arts during an exhibit of Cheval’s recycled plastic fashions.

“Our mission is to get young people involved in raising awareness about all the discarded plastic that’s ending up in the ocean and killing our sea life,” Anderson said. “There’s lot of things we can do, like re-using plastic or making it into something else. We’ve made and designed outfits made of discarded waste plastic before it goes into the ocean. We’re pre-cycling it.”

Anderson modeled a dress, called Snow Zebra, she fashioned out of white construction plastic and black and white zebra duct tape. Cheval wore a skirt, jacket and hat outfit, called Wake-up Call, that she made out of heavy, four-ply plastic banners from coffee shops.

“All this is connected to reducing our disposable plastic use and the amount that gets manufactured,” said Christopher Pincetich, a marine biologist with Turtle Island Restoration Network in Olema. “In turn, this could mean less plastic in the ocean, which is impacting sea turtles, seabirds, whales and all marine life in a deadly way.”

About 40 people turned out for the show in the Marin Recycling’s Environmental Center.

Pimwalee Kachinthorn, a 19-year-old model from Santa Cruz, had on a tight-fitting jumper made out of a heavy plastic advertising banner for a brand of tea. On a warm afternoon, it may not have been the most comfortable clothing choice.

“But it’s what you do for fashion,” she said.

Contact Paul Liberatore via email at liberatore@marinij.com