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Nonprofit Washed Ashore crafts art and jewelry from ocean plastic

Washed Ashore is an environmental nonprofit that spreads the message about ocean pollution using the visual appeal of art. The giant animals created from marine debris have appeared at various events, both locally and as a traveling exhibit, since the organization’s inception in 2010. Now, the company is pivoting to also make jewelry from ocean plastic.

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Living in a coastal town provides a front-row view of the powerful ocean and the crippling consequences of plastics that get washed out to the waters, where they are ingested by marine animals or washed back up on the beach. While some people scour the beach for shells, Angela Haseltine Pozzi, founder and artistic director of Washed Ashore, instead searched for trash, starting in her small town of Bandon, Oregon. A long time artist and educator, she launched Washed Ashore in alignment with her lofty goals to clean the ocean and educate the local and global community about ocean pollution.

A person working on an art sculpture of a turtle.

Related: The Ocean Cleanup launches sunglasses made from ocean plastic

The resulting 75+ art pieces each take shape as a large animal and incorporate plastic found during cleanup efforts. To date, more than 10,000 volunteers have collected and processed over 20 tons of debris. The team is growing alongside the mission to eradicate plastics from the ocean; as Pozzi summarized, “Until we run out of plastic on the beach, we will keep doing our work.”

A person standing next to an art piece of an otter.

Now, for Washed Ashore’s 10-year anniversary, the nonprofit is offering specially crafted avant-garde jewelry pieces for sale to the community. Each creation is one-of-a-kind, from the marine debris necklaces to a recycled plastic anglerfish lamp. In addition to offering a new way to continue the conversation about ocean plastic, the proceeds will help cover operational costs for the organization, including beach cleanups. These pieces are currently for sale through Etsy.

Two images: to the left, a child looking at a sculpture of a fish. To the right, a person standing next to a puffin sculpture.

In maintaining its primary mission of educating about plastic pollution, each piece of artwork comes with literature about Washed Ashore and pointers on how to continue the conversation about the effects of our actions on marine life and ocean pollution.

+ Washed Ashore Design

Images via Washed Ashore Design

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