Rachel Hope Allison's sea monster story

plastic bags heading to the ocean

Most PopTechers know all about the massive vortex of plastic that swirls in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We've written about marine biologists making monsters out of ocean trash and featured activist ocean rowers. The PopTech stage has hosted heartbreaking slideshows of plastic debris and its effect on animals and impassioned environmentalists describing sailing ships made of plastic bottles to call attention to these troubled waters.

There's a newly-published graphic novel that illustrates the problem of plastic. Illustrator Rachel Hope Allison created the book, I'm Not a Plastic Bag, to tell a story of "loneliness, beauty, and humankind’s connection to our planet". The book gently reveals how our carelessly discarded everyday items combine to create something truly monstrous. With its lovely images and simple, sad story of this monster who doesn't fit it, it's an interesting way to introduce the topics of pollution, conservation, and stewardship to a younger audience. 

Plastic monster in the sea

According to United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), plastic accounts for 90 percent of all debris floating in the oceans. It's also the majority of the trash that washes up on our beaches. With projects like Allison's bringing awareness to the issue and an increasing number of cities and states banning plastic bags (including, most recently, Seattle), maybe this real-life monster will one day be the stuff of fiction.  

Hat tip to Treehugger

Images: Publisher Archaia; copyright Rachel Hope Allison

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