For four years, photographer Antoine Repesssaved his recyclable waste in different rooms of his apartment.
It piled high; each room divided by material. The 37-year-old photographer from Lille, France, also enlisted more than 200 of his friends and family members to join in too, each one adding some of their recyclables to the growing heaps. Before long, the floors were covered with cans, bottles, and cardboard more than 70 cubic meters( about 183 square feet) of garbage. Ultimately, Repess was ready.
In his photo series “ #365Unpacked, ” Repasse set his waste to use to illustrate the importance of recycling and sustained packaging.
The items were carefully sorted, and Repasse use them alongside his subjects to highlight the dramatic impact of the waste we render.
“We’re often told about the quantity of trash we create but I believe … potential impacts of a image can be much more powerful than tons of words, ” he writes in an emailed statement. “I tried to produce a perfect picture which got something disturbing because what I’m talking about isn’t nice at all.”
In each image, the model is meant to appear as if “they il be” drowning in packaging …
… overcome with not only the sheer volume of garbage, but a certain powerlessness to reverse the trend.
The highly composed and stylized photos are obligating. Each one took as long as 10 hours to create.
Each shocking image forces the spectator to genuinely consider what happens to their trash when they dispose of it.
Since #365Unpacked, Repess has changed some of his habits too starting with the way he eats.
The project built him more conscious of the receptacles and excessive packaging on frozen and convenience foods, like K-cups, so he’s started cooking more. The change helps the environment and saves him money.
“To be involved in this project induced me more conscious, but I’m still not perfect, ” Repess tells. He did, however, make sure to recycle or reuse all the waste after the photoshoots, so he’s off to a good start.
Americans generate an estimated 4. 4 pounds of waste each day, and recycle or compost only over 1.5 pounds of it, about 34%.
In 1990, the above figures was merely 16%. While we’re improving, we can’t celebrate just yet. Garbage disposal and prevention is everyone’s problem, and we must continue to fight for more green packaging, community recycling and compost programs, and continued education on recycling and waste management. As Repess tells, “…we just can’t ignore we’re responsible for this.”
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