You and I, we together, have transformed Mother Earth into a trash bin. We toss paper cups onto sidewalks. We fling empty beer cans into public park bushes. And oh, yes, those lids on containers of caffe latte with Valentine hearts fashioned by skilled hands with whipped cream, we dispose of them into canals, rivers and waterways. Trash everywhere, and yet we pass by paper and plastic debris with hardly a second glance. Has trash become so commonplace ? Has littering become the new norm for accepted social behavior?
One Sunday afternoon in Yokohama I was walking along a path that ran parallel to an inlet from Tokyo Bay.
Bobbing up and down on ripples of water, empty pet bottles flowed outward to distant destinations. Strewn against the shoreline, plastic bags, discarded bento bako (lunch boxes), six pack rings and beer cans took up residence on rocks and sand.
Seagulls were aligned on the top railing of an iron fence overlooking a tide pool. From their vantage point, they looked down at the colorful display of waste products submerged in the water. The scene reminded me of my childhood days when I explored tide pools at low tide. Only in those days, I could see crabs, sea anemomes, tiny fishes and sea weed.
I took photos. But, I thought, photos of something so commonplace would have no impact. I needed to add layers to the photos to bring out the message I wanted to convey.