Series One – 2011 – Garbage Patch Soap Project

The Garbage Patches in the Oceans of the World are a horror.

I was making soap in October 2011 when the Oakland Police helicopters were hovering over the Occupy Oakland encampment. 4 in the morning. I live about one and a half miles from the emcampment (which was at City Hall) and the helicopter noise was loud and present. I could not join the protest then. (Yes, I’m the 99%.)

But in a moment of private protest I made a batch of soap and deliberately put plastic garbage in it. The kind of plastic garbage that the albatross, and other creatures, eat because they think it is food.  It fills their tummies, does not pass out of their bodies and they starve to death and are poisoned by the plastics. Look closely at the image. Do you recognize any items? An orange traffic cone has been found in a whale tummy.

Plastic garbage belongs in soap as much as it belongs in albatross tummies or the oceans.



I collected plastic bits from my garbage and from the streets of my neighborhood.

Then washed and sterilized it. See how it floats? Just like in the ocean! Wow!

It measured 5 cups.

I put the plastic into a batch of Occidental Balance soap (lavender/rosemary scent).

Stirred as usual.

And now we have plastic in soap, as appropriate as plastic in the oceans!

I display the huge uncut block at shows to raise awareness about the issue(s). Let me know if you’d like to see it.

Algalita Marine Research Foundation is a great organization to follow if you’d like more information about the horrors of garbage in the ocean.

And a TED talk on the subject: