Beyond Borders: People, Plastic and Pollution &
Swedish Institute’s Re:waste – how Sweden is rethinking resources
Over two weekends in May the Embassy of Sweden, together with the Australian National University (ANU) School of the Art & Design, hosted the art exhibition “Beyond Borders: People, Plastic and Pollution”. The collaboration with ANU School of Art and Design invited students to investigate plastic pollution through a creative lens. Two installations, ”Bedroom Plastic” and “PHYT!” were created to evoke thoughts and provide a platform for a discussion around the major environmental problem of plastic pollution.
On Friday 13 May the exhibitions opened with a multi-stakeholder panel discussion on “how to combat plastic pollution”. The opening was framed in the the spirit of the major UN environmental conference Stockholm +50 that took place a few weeks later. A representative of the Australian Department of Environment gave opening remarks followed by a discussion around the importance of a whole of society approach, addressing challenges throughout the whole life cycle of plastics and collaboration between government, industry, academia and civil society.
Following the discussion, guests were able to view the exhibition was created by ANU School of the Art and Design students and the Swedish Institute exhibition “RE:waste – how Sweden is rethinking resources”. RE:waste is giving a Swedish perspective of the waste hierarchy, recycling and waste management,
With the event the embassy wanted to engage Australian stakeholders in a discussion around plastic pollution and highlight Sweden and Swedish solutions in terms of sustainability. The Swedish government is a strong proponent of a global agreement to combat plastic pollution. Multilateral negotiations on a global agreement will start this year.
In June 2022, it was 50 years since the first conference on the human environment was held in Stockholm in 1972. To commemorate this, and to accelerate the discussions on the need for urgent action, the UN mandated conference Stockholm +50, “a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity” was held in Stockholm. The conference focusing on how to accelerate and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, tackle the planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.