Right on the (w)heels of another sustainable mobile installation, the Dopper Foundation has launched its replica of the Brooklyn Bridge, constructed with nearly 5,000 single-use plastic water bottles! Debuting to the public on World Oceans Day, the interactive art piece was unveiled in Times Square’s Shubert Alley on June 8th, in collaboration with National Geographic Encounter.

The Dopper Foundation partnered with Burning Man artist, Colin Hendee, to construct the bridge and help people visualize the magnitude in which plastic bottles are being used and thrown away. The community built project measures 30 feet by 11 feet, and features all sorts of interactive activities: plastic fishes underneath the bridge provide sustainable tips, a pledge wall encourages visitors to “break up” with plastic, and bottles on the bridge can be filled with personal messages. The bridge itself is made out of P.E.T. bottles, which were collected with the help of Sure We Can recycling center, and from special bins placed in schools, offices and other public spaces across the city.

“Around the world, nearly one million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute. That is equivalent to building the Brooklyn Bridge out of single-use plastic bottles, and our Plastic Bridge replica represents the scale of bottles sold in a split second—5,000,” said Merijn Everaarts, founder of the Dopper Foundation, to National Geographic. “Building a bridge is a metaphor—if you want to bridge the gap from bad habits to good habits, you need to explain how we can reach goals by making small steps in the right direction.”

Rendering courtesy the Dopper Foundation

In the United States alone, Americans throw out 35 billion plastic bottles every year, and those bottles take thousands of years to degrade in our landfills and oceans. With a larger mission to turn the tide on plastic pollution, the Dopper Foundation uses these large-scale installations and community projects to raise awareness about our “throwaway lifestyle.” A few years ago, it created a 14-foot wave made from reclaimed plastic bottles in San Francisco. Visitors were invited to surf the wave, which was crafted from 6,000 single-use plastic bottles and had a surfboard attached to it.

Its latest mobile art installation of the Brooklyn Bridge kicks off a global educational movement that will include programming such as art classes, plays and more. This summer, it will also travel around the greater New York area to teach children in schools about the effects of single-use plastic on our oceans and ourselves. The goal is to eventually replicate other bridges as the installation moves to other cities.

Image courtesy the Dopper Foundation

If you missed its Times Square debut, the mobile Brooklyn Bridge will be traveling to the Sure We Can recycling center for a celebration this Saturday, June 23rd at 4pm. RSVP for the event here. The complete program for summer tour dates can also be found here! For more information, visit dopper.com.

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge and join us for Reduce, Reuse, Rethink: The Future of Waste in NYC, a Talk by Museum of the City of NY (free for Untapped Cities Insiders).