It all began in 2009 when the Swiss Museum für Gestaltung Zürich approached Drosos Foundation with the idea of an exhibition about plastic waste in the world’s oceans. The topic of the exhibition was appealing as environmental protection is a thematic priority for the foundation. Being only too aware of the enormous amounts of plastic rubbish that enter the world’s oceans every day, the foundation endorsed the fact that this problem should be brought to people’s attention exposing the harmful effects of plastic debris on the environment and, consequently, on our health.
Together, the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich and Drosos Foundation, developed the project and made it one of the most successful projects. The exhibition “Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project” was created in Zurich in 2012 and was visited by thousands of pupils, students and visitors in Switzerland and various European cities. And it had an impact: a substantial knowledge acumen on plastic was gathered by visitors and was reflected in pledges to use and recycle plastic in a more responsible manner.
Because of the encouraging success of this European exhibition, the Drosos team had later the idea of staging the exhibition in its other priority countries, such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco. Most of these countries face serious environmental challenges some of which can be mitigated with the right measures. An improvement of waste management systems, public awareness building techniques and a well enforced body of laws and regulations are few significant and common measures.
Drosos Foundation was convinced that the original exhibition should not just be transferred to these countries. Together with the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, it is supporting its local partner organisations to recreate the exhibition and adapt it to regional and country specific contexts. The plastic waste is collected locally and partners are supported in the development of an interactive educational programme to raise awareness among societies and decision makers.
The foundation is grateful to its local partner organisations whose dedication to environmental protection is portrayed in their fervent and creative implementation of the project. Without their engagement, the exhibitions would never achieve the intended impact. Drosos Foundation is convinced that the environment should never be neglected, whatever the context is. It is everybody’s duty to take care of the environment and to be aware of its richness, and equally, of its limits. In consequence, the foundation is constantly looking for innovative project ideas - in particular focusing on the issues related to reducing, reusing and recycling waste while promoting ecologically friendly materials, practices and procedures. It is hoped that the message of the exhibition will outlive its epoch through the initiation of new ideas and new initiatives for the protection of our environment.