As an island nation with thousands of miles of coastline ranging from rocky shores to sandy beaches, the United Kingdom has an important relationship with the seaside. For some people it is a source of employment, whilst for many it is a treasured environment that provides the opportunity for holidays, sport and leisure. It is a place that can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing through an appreciation of the diverse nature and landscapes that can be found there.
This exhibition explores the impact of the plastics materials group, good and bad, on this aspect of British life. How their hydrophobic, buoyant, and durable characteristics enhance both enjoyment of the water and make it safer. How many designers and manufacturers are creating value from plastics discarded on beaches and at sea. And how the devastating environmental harm caused by their inappropriate disposal is being mitigated by their use, for example, in cleaning our beaches, making fishing more sustainable, and holding back coastal erosion.
Beside the sea celebrates the fun of the seaside and considers the important issues of inclusivity, material value, pollution, and the use of recycled ocean plastics.