“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!”Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Elisabeth Hoff
Elisabeth Hoff’s, Drowning in Plastic,is a haunting series of images to highlight the Great British Beach Clean, an annual event organised by The Marine Conservation Society.
Elisabeth Hoff is a photographer, director, and art director creating high end imagery for clients in the UK and abroad. Prior to this, she studied Marine Biology and grew up sailing around the world with her family. Inspired by her background she has most recently turned her lens to the single-use plastics that are clogging our oceans. Working in collaboration with the Marine Conservation Society the images and film were released to encourage people to sign up and get involved with The Great British Beach Clean, September 2019. Each image focusses on a single-use plastic such as plastic bags, bottles, cutlery, balloons, and glitter. Using her skillset as a fashion photographer, Elisabeth wanted to do a “beautiful take on a dirty subject”. The series shows models swimming through water - either surrounded or entangled in these single-use items. The pollutants’ appearance changes to almost become a representation of the wildlife in our oceans, and therefore reinforces the fact that without action, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish. The Great British Beach Clean is an annual event organised by The Marine Conservation Society which calls on the British public to volunteer a couple of hours of their time to help clean a 100m section of beach, and record the litter that they find. In 2018, 494 beaches were cleared by a record 15,000 volunteers, clearing an incredible 8550 kilos of litter - meaning that 600 items of litter were found on every 100 meters of the UK coastline. The project has been integral in creating change in how we use single-use plastic and was instrumental in bringing about the 5p carrier bag charge, which has resulted in a 50% drop in plastic bags found on beaches, as well as a reduction in the use of plastic straws, and the banning of micro-beads in wash-off products, and lantern and balloon releases. “Using my skillset as a fashion photographer, I felt compelled to create a body of work that might inspire people to take some kind of action with regards to their personal consumption of single-use plastics. As human beings we are incredibly resourceful, and if we all get together and do our bit, I’m sure we can make positive changes fast, and start to find solutions to this growing issue”. Elisabeth Hoff, Photographer