ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A grocery store opened to the public Tuesday thousands of faux foods made entirely from discarded plastic bags, an artist’s inedible creation calling attention to plastic waste danger.
This plastic bag shop is a bespoke public art installation and film experience designed to encourage visitors to think more about the lasting impact of single-use plastic.
The shelves at the store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, are filled with items like meat, eggs and cakes, all made from single-use plastic recycled from the streets and dumps.
During the day, the store is sometimes transformed into the stage for a series of short films that use puppets and handmade sets to address the dangers of plastic waste and its impact on future generations.
As the show’s tagline goes: “Part installation. Part film. All bags.”
Plastic bags are produced from fossil fuels and often end up as litter in landfills and oceans.
Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags every year, according to the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C.
Theater and film director Robin Frohardt is the creative force behind Plastic Bag Store.
“The idea came to me many years ago after seeing people packing my groceries, double and triple-packed,” Frohart said Tuesday. Shocked at how ridiculous.
“It looked so ridiculous. I just thought, ‘Maybe I can do an even more ridiculous project.'”
Store shelves are filled with items with names that mimic real-life products, such as “Yucky Shards,” “Bitz of Plastic Craps,” “Bagemite” (vegan) and “Filthydelphia roll ” (Philadelphia Roll).
One product Frohardt won’t have to change is baguettes, “because it’s in the name,” she laughs.
The Plastic Bag Shop will run through February 5 and is a collaboration between the University of Michigan Art Museum, the University Music Society, the University of Michigan Arts Initiative and the Graham Institute for Sustainability.
General admission is $30. Student tickets are $12.
The show premiered in Times Square in 2020. There have since been stops in Los Angeles; Chicago; Austin, Texas; and Adelaide, Australia.
“I hope we can continue to visit this project and bring it to different communities,” said Frohart, who is based in New York. “My dream is that this project becomes irrelevant.
“But it probably won’t.”
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