If a trip to Mexico is on your agenda, then add another stop to your itinerary: Mexico City's Future Forest.
The brainchild of Danish artist Thomas Dambo, the installation can be found in the botanical garden of Chapultepec — and, intertwined with the site's natural greenery, features more than three tonnes of plastic waste fashioned into a colourful artwork across a 500-square-metre area.
Dambo worked with garbage collectors, their children, local students, inhabitants of orphanages and elderly homes, and other volunteers, taking eight weeks to turn a mountain of discarded plastics into a space people can wander through. Visitors will spy plants, flowers, animals and more, all made out of recycled bottles, containers, tubing and other plastic products. Although it was created as part of the local FYJA festival, it'll remain on display for the near future.
As well as drawing attention to the ongoing war on waste — an issue that is seeing single-use plastic bags, coffee cups, takeaway containers and straws slowly phased from general usage, and plastic waste turned into everything from roads to shoes to activewear — the Future Forest also recognises the efforts of workers who collect and sort trash, known in Mexico City as pepenadores. Dambo's designed his project "not only to create awareness of this huge issue, but as a tribute to these everyday heroes, not nearly getting the recognition and respect we all owe them," he states on his website.