While the push to reduce plastic use and its impact on ecology continue, experimentation about getting new life injected into materials, there is the inverse issues being identified in the art world currently. This study is being headed by POPART (Preservation Of Plastic ARTefacts in museum collections) and real focus is being put on preserving history and influential works, worldwide.
As Sam Kean suggested, "People often grumble that plastics are too durable. Water bottles, shopping bags, and other trash litter the planet, from Mount Everest to the Mariana Trench, because plastics are ubiquitous and don’t break down easily."
This has been the mainstay for the argument to reduce plastics worldwide in general. Despite advances to combat pollution by giving materials the ability to be re-adapted for new uses, or even completely be reused and repurposed while serving a new purpose as we're seeing in ocean recovered plastic watches the issues are all the same. Materials are starting to be at the front of people's minds and how they view plastics.
The issue, is all materials are not created or survive equally. Kean continued, "But some plastic materials change over time. They crack and frizzle. They “weep” out additives. They melt into sludge. All of which creates huge headaches for institutions, such as museums, trying to preserve culturally important objects."
The use of plastic in art is not something that has seen a reduction in frequency or visibility, recently the pop up plastic store installations (most recently in Los Angeles) Shows this trend has and likely will continue. While installations like this are typically limited on their lifespan, the issue remains that any material used in art may have significance in the future and preservation might be a tricky situation to cope with. This is almost a polar opposite issue to tackle than recycling materials currently is, as we've seen with clandestine items like bowling balls even being unable to be removed from anything other than a landfill. The point remains, not all materials are created equal, not all materials will be viewed the same way, and not all materials must be dealt with in the same ways for the same reasons.