A new pop-up virtual reality experience in Sydney is giving visitors a first-hand look at the problem of plastic waste in our oceans.
The Ocean of the Future experience at Circular Quay’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, sponsored by SodaStream, features an interactive VR reef in which visitors are handed a virtual net and told to catch plastic debris as it sinks towards the ocean floor.
PKN experienced a demonstration of the confronting display on site. At first, the items float down one or two at a time, but soon they are falling too quickly to keep up – and too far away to reach. At the end, standing knee-deep in plastic, guests are asked to pledge to reduce the amount of single-use plastics they use.
According to Laura Wilson, marketing director of SodaStream, the experience is designed to confront Australians with the magnitude of the plastic waste problem.
“We created our Ocean of the Future VR experience so that more Australians can not only see, but through the magic of VR, experience the sheer scale of the plastic waste issue first-hand. We truly believe that by doing so, users will better connect with the problem and therefore be moved to make changes in their consumption habits,” she said.
Another highlight of the site is turtle sculpture made from more than 242kg of reclaimed and repurposed single-use plastics. Named Eddy, after undercurrents that move plastic around the ocean, the sculpture was created by Australian reclaimed plastics artist David Day, with Melbourne-based Lump Sculpture Studios, from material collected around northern Queensland turtle habitats.
The Ocean of the Future experience runs until 7 September at Circular Quay.