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Bottle caps turned into artwork

Thursday 9 August 2018 2:27pm

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At the handover of a 1,000 bottle cap artwork at the South Dunedin Pop-Up yesterday were (clockwise from front) Marine Science postgraduate student Hannah Mello, NZ Marine Studies Centre Manager Tessa Mills, the Director of the NZ International Science Festival Dan Hendra and Cargill Enterprises CEO Geoff Kemp, who owns the building where the artwork will be displayed. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

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Hannah Mello works with children on the project during the New Zealand International Science Festival last month.

One thousand plastic bottle caps donated by staff and students from across the University’s Dunedin campus have been turned into a beautiful piece of art aimed at educating people about the impact of plastics on the creatures that live in the ocean.

The artwork was created during the New Zealand International Science Festival in July – as part of the University’s NZ Marine Studies Centre activities at the South Dunedin Community Pop-Up. It was yesterday gifted to the Pop-Up for display.

Marine Science postgraduate student Hannah Mello designed the image, and children participating in the workshops joined her in sticking the bottle caps to the background. Ms Mello then spent seven hours screwing them in place.

"I received a steady stream of caps of different colours and sizes – I was very popular for a while as parcels kept coming in. I’m sure people will love seeing where they ended up."

NZ Marine Studies Centre Manager Tessa Mills says her team took the Aquavan, mobile touch pool and a selection of live marine animals to the Pop-Up for three days during the Science Festival.

As well as helping to create the artwork, children also learned more about the impact of plastic on marine life, such as albatross and turtles.

Ms Mills says she sent a request to the University community for the donation of bottle caps and was thrilled with the response.

“I received a steady stream of caps of different colours and sizes – I was very popular for a while as parcels kept coming in. I’m sure people will love seeing where they ended up.”