WATCH: 10-metre tall plastic pile signals environment concerns

Finland has put climate change concerns at the heart of its EU Presidency, and the Plastic Mama art installation highlights some of the issues.


A 10-metre tall pile of plastic waste has grown overnight in Helsinki.

Situated between Parliament and Oodi Central Library in Kansalaistori, ‘Plastic Mama’ is an installation by Finnish artist Kaisa Salmi.

The sheer scale of the piece, which is shaped like a baroque-style dress with Salmi perched on top, signals ongoing concern for environmental waste – especially plastic – and reminds everyone about the climate crisis.

It’s part of the opening public events for Finland’s six month Presidency of the European Council, and took a team of a thousand volunteers, including many children, around four months to gather and clean 300kg of plastic waste to attach to the dress.

At the event, Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) said that the biggest common challenge to mankind is climate change.

“This is why in combating climate change the time of a ‘yes, but’ policy is over. The EU must lead the way in the work to combat climate change. Now is the time to look for and find solutions. To build an ecologically sustainable Europe, we must commit to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050” says Rinne.

After the installation is over, Plastic Mama will be taken apart and sent to a plastics plant in Riihimäki for recycling.