Public art at zoo encourages visitors to think about impact on nature

Nov 8, 2015

There’s a new piece of public art in town that’s making an environmental and an artistic statement. Visitors at the Buffalo Zoo can see a sculpture of a polar bear made entirely out of plastic shopping bags.

Plastic bag polar bear sculpture
Credit Buffalo Zoo

About 1500 bags were used to make the sculpture and, according to the zoo, that’s close to the number of bags used used by the average American family of four in one year.

The production of plastic bags releases the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which is said to threaten the sea ice that Arctic species depend on.

The sculpture was created by zoo staff and volunteers, led by Megan Monaco. Monaco said the goal is to get visitors thinking about the impact they can have on nature.