Bottle top artwork on Brighton beach is almost complete

Irene needs help to attach the final bottle tops to the artwork on Brighton beach
Irene needs help to attach the final bottle tops to the artwork on Brighton beach

A local designer is asking volunteers to help put the finishing touches to a beach-side art installation featuring almost 30,000 bottle tops.

Irene Soler is working on the last phase of ‘A Drop in the Ocean’, an installation along the Volks Railway at Brighton seafront.

Irene Soler with A Drop in the Ocean, an installation along the Volks Railway

Irene Soler with A Drop in the Ocean, an installation along the Volks Railway

The bottle tops were collected from the city’s seafront between August and October this year by the council’s Cityclean beach-cleaning teams, cafes and kiosks along the seafront, as well as by organised beach cleans and individuals.

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Now, the final 9,000 bottle tops will be added to the 20,000 which have already been strung and hung along the beach railings in phases 1 and 2, creating a beautiful and colourful wave.

Irene said: “We’ve now collected almost 30,000 bottle tops in total from the beach since March this year. That’s 30,000 bottle tops that have been saved from ending up in the sea and harming or destroying our marine life.

“So far 110 fantastic local people have helped us complete phases one and two of the installation. Now I’m hoping volunteers will come along and assist us to finish off ‘A Drop in the Ocean’ which will finally stretch close to 60 metres along the seafront.”

The workshops will run this week today (November 9) and tomorrow (November 10) and next week on Monday (November 12), Tuesday (November 13), Thursday (November 15) and Friday (November 16) from 10:30am to 5pm at Volks Railway Visitor Centre, Madeira Drive, Brighton.

Irene added: “The artwork really highlights the huge problem of leaving rubbish on the beach which can easily be blown or dragged into the sea by waves.

“It’s a worrying and depressing fact that that 35 per cent of fish off the Brighton coast have plastic in their gut and a massive 80 per cent of ocean plastics come from the land.”

Phase one of the installation was completed in July with more than 9,000 bottle tops used, with phase 2 finishing in October, using another 10,000 tops.

When phase one was launched, some people questioned why plastic was being taken onto the beach, but every one of the bottle tops was collected on the seafront.

The tops are from bottles of milk, fizzy drinks, water, sports drinks and even baby food pouches.

The installation will be completed by the end of this year after phase 3 is finished, and will staying in place until next Spring.