November 30, 2018

Wasted Exhibition

Free lesson download below

The Wasted Exhibit explored environmental sustainability, and the ocean featuring several unique lights created out of around 5500 recycled plastic caps weighing18kg in total.

​Long inspired by sea creatures such as sea anemones and the original shell collectors, commonly known as 'Carrier' shells (Xenophora pallidula), which attach detritus  from the ocean floor to their shells,  light balls were constructed using recycled plastic lids because plastic when lit, emits a soft glowing light reminiscent of creatures from an underwater world.

Caps were sourced from local cafes, council recycling stations, friends, colleagues and from household waste.

The balls consist of a chinese lantern made from acrylic, an LED globe and the recycled plastic caps attached with a glue gun.

Whilst the project has long since finished, I still experience a compulsion to recycle plastic caps, and I am still entrusted with the occasional bag of recycled caps from my recycling friends. I can only surmise they are as addicted to collecting the caps as am I.

#recycling #plastic #environmentalart

Environmental Education Resources

Recycled plastic lids

Sustainability Lesson - Which Cap is That?

Collect some plastic caps and see if your group can match the cap to the product.


The variety of colours, shapes and forms of plastic caps used for packaging are not only amazing but intriguing as well. The plastic caps are also an unusual insight into other peoples' lives and consumer habits.

The caps may either directly communicate the contents held inside, for example white caps used for medical or milk, or may be coded more mysteriously with examples such as yellow caps for milk, or purple caps for chocolate.


Why do you think this is the case? 

What does a cap colour or design say about the contents inside?

Great opportunities to raise awareness around our waste with shared experience exists making for fun group discussion!


Recycled plastic lids light
Recycled plastic lids light
Recycled plastic lids light
Recycled plastic lids light

Heather Elson

M: PO BOX 105 Franklin TAS 7113



© 2023 by Heather Elson

Recycled plastic lids