Cornwall

Plastic waste sculptor: 'Why I named and shamed Nestle'

Rob Arnold
Image caption Rob Arnold: "I felt it was time to act'

A sculptor has spelled out an environmental message to food giant Nestle with plastic waste from its products he found on a beach.

Rob Arnold made his sculpture from the pieces of coffee containers and other items he gathered on a 100m (328ft) stretch of beach in Cornwall.

"It's the first time I've named and shamed a company but I felt it was time to act," he said.

Nestle said it wanted to "make sure the plastic we do use can be recycled".

Image caption Some Nestle plastic found on the beach is thought to go back 30 years
Image copyright Rob Arnold
Image caption Rob Arnold previously made an Easter Island-style head coated with plastic waste
Image caption Nestle products were easily recognisable among the plastic waste

Mr Arnold has been making sculptures from plastic he has found on Tregantle Beach for about five years.

"It dawned on me to make it when I was going through a bucket of plastic," said Mr Arnold, who makes his sculptures from themed subjects such as Lego shapes.

"I like to think that every piece I find has a story and I was finding a lot of Nestle logos.

"Thanks to their very recognisable name I was able to recognise their material quite easily."

Image copyright Rob Arnold
Image caption Rob Arnold sifts the sands of Tregantle Beach for plastic waste
Image copyright Rob Arnold
Image caption The sculpture comes together from thousands of fragments

It took him four days to make the Nestle sculpture.

"I think some pieces are 30 years old," he said.

Image copyright Rob Arnold
Image caption Rob Arnold likes to categorise the plastic he finds and that led him to producing the Nestle sculpture
Image copyright Rob Arnold
Image caption Pieces of Lego and other plastic toys are a common find

He said he believed making recyclable plastic containers was "not enough".

"They need to be doing something to reduce the use of plastic packaging," he said.

Image copyright Rob Arnold
Image caption A plastic prawn is made from washed up waste
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A Greenpeace plastic monster featured in a demonstration about Nestle's use of plastic

His work comes days after a demonstration in South East Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America in which environmental campaign group Greenpeace used Nestle plastic waste to make sea monsters that were left at the company's headquarters.

"I hope that my piece of art will make Nestle and other firms think more seriously about plastic pollution, about how they make their products," he said.

"This has been collected on one beach so it shows the size of the problem."

Anna Turrell, Nestle UK and Ireland head of sustainability, said the firm wanted to "get to a stage where none of our packaging is ending up in landfill or as litter" but "the truth is that businesses like ours are not going to be able to stop using plastic overnight".

She said: "Plastic pollution is a huge, complex challenge and we are determined to look at every possible solution."

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