Grotesque garbage turns heads at Yonge and St. Clair

Natural Plasticity brings attention to single-use plastics

In 2016, 9.3 million tonnes of waste was diverted for reuse in Canada. In comparison, only 4.3 per cent of this total was repurposed plastic waste.

In the spirit of Earth Day, Jana Cruder’s and Matthew LaPenta’s giant inflatable plastic cup and straw art installations arrived at Yonge and St. Clair to raise awareness of our impact on the environment.

The Natural Plasticity installations are made out of post-consumer plastic and are featured at 2 St. Clair W and 55 St. Clair W and is being dubbed ‘the bottle project.’

“They thought blowing these pieces that you would generally find lying on the street or in very obscure areas, making them larger in real life and really putting them in your face was a talking piece for people to reconsider their habits around single-use plastics,” said Madeline Sarracini, Business Developer at Slate Asset Management which owns eight office properties in the area.

Previously, the installations have been featured from coast to coast in the United States as well as Venice, Italy.

“Single-use plastics are ingrained in everyone’s daily habits. I think the first step especially after talking with Jana and Matthew, is realizing your habits and it starts with the consumer,” she added.

This project is in a place where most people wouldn’t think about their plastic consumption according to Sarracini. Additionally, there is a constant amount of people passing by who work in the office buildings managed by Slate.

Plastic cup by Natural Plasticity featured at 2 St. Clair W. Photo: Timo Cheah / The Dialog

Slate looks to connect the community by commissioning public art to initiate conversations like plastic consumption. They also got UK artist, Phlegm, to transform a blank concrete wall opposite the into a mural.

The City of Toronto held a public consultation meeting in November 2018 to address single-use plastic and takeaway items such as coffee cups and plastic bags. They will follow up later this year another discussion with methods of going forward with the second phase of this plan to reduce plastic waste.

The city has also promoted the proper disposal of cigarette butts which has become a big problem according to Lisa Duncan, acting director of collections and litter operations for the City of Toronto.

George Brown College students came up with an interesting idea of a reverse vending machine to reduce single-use plastic.

A community cleanup day organized by the City of Toronto will take place this Saturday, April 27.


Grotesque garbage turns heads at Yonge and St. Clair