January 21, 2019
Brad Hunt

We may habitually toss stuff into garbage cans and put trash bags out by the curb, but our refuse still goes somewhere even when it’s no longer cluttering up our living spaces.

“We can’t throw things away because there is no ‘away,'” according to Joylette Portlock, the executive director of the environmental group Sustainable Pittsburgh.

That’s the inspiration behind an art installation that is at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh through Feb. 15. “Straw Forward” depicts aquatic scenes constructed from more than 25,000 plastic straws that were collected from 37 Pittsburgh-area businesses, restaurants and nonprofit enterprises between June and October of last year. Along with the plastic straws, the installation also includes plastic items that were fished out of the Allegheny River and other repurposed materials.

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