Paula Strother and

the Problem with Plastics Pollution

How much plastic garbage is fouling the world's oceans? Scientists estimate a minimum count of 5 trillion particles or 269,000 tons. This pollution causes immeasurable harm to the marine ecosystem; whales, sea lions, seals, and sea turtles have all died from clogged digestive tracts after mistaking plastic trash for food. Meanwhile, researchers believe 99 percent of seabird species could be ingesting plastic waste by 2050.

The problem of marine-plastics pollution has inspired Paula Strother, a resident artist at Fulton Crossing, to create a series of artworks incorporating the troublesome material. Paula collects vast amounts of plastic bags from friends and associates, then weaves and irons them together into deceptively beautiful landscapes and animal portraits. "Most of us should take our bags back to the grocery store, but likely that doesn't happen," she says. The situation in the oceans "has made me feel really conscious of every piece of plastic I come across now."

Find some of Paula's art below and if you're in Sonoma County, check out her painted plastic creations at the Sebastopol Regional Library from September 16 - October 18, 2019. (Paula Strother's website | Library website)