A different sort of great pyramid was just erected in Egypt’s Western Desert, which rather than enshrining a pharaoh’s glory, draws attention to the issue of plastic pollution.
Constructed at the onset of what the builders hope will be a century of plastic cleanup, it also acts as a striking visual ahead of the annual meeting of the signees to the Paris Climate Accord (COP27) in Egypt.
Located, just outside Cairo, the immense structure took five days to build, weighs a whopping 20 tons, is taller than a three-story building, and is made using the equivalent of 1 million plastic water bottles collected from the Nile River.
Led by zero-waste company Zero Co and wine sellers The Hidden Sea, it seeks to fund large-scale clean ups for the next 100 years and drive accountability for the single-use plastic problem, an initiative called the 100YR CLEANUP.
“Despite its epic size, the pyramid shows just a fraction of what is an incredible crisis,” said Justin Moran, founder of The Hidden Sea, a wine company that removes 10 plastic pieces of rubbish from the ocean every time a bottle is bought.
“Powered by wine drinkers, The Hidden Sea has removed 18 million plastic bottles from the ocean so far; this demonstrates that consumers simply need a clear way to be part of the solution. This COP27, our message is clear. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and change how we manage the crisis. Those who have the ability, have the responsibility.”
To personally mark the launch of 100YR CLEANUP, Zero Co chief Mike Smith will camp out on top of the pyramid for three days to call for support from people and businesses to join the movement.
“We can’t fix the plastic problem alone, but we can give everyone the ability to take action,” said Mike Smith, the man atop the pyramid. “By working together with businesses, industry leaders and inviting the public to take direct action, we’ll be able to build a scalable solution to the problem and have a huge impact.”
Zero Co and The Hidden Sea aim to raise $1,000,000 for the 100YR CLEANUP over the next 12 months, which will remove 15 million water bottles worth of rubbish and drive the initiative’s mission.
By sponsoring the 100YR CLEANUP and buying a bundle of rubbish, individuals and businesses can contribute to future cleanups around the world. With sufficient funding, the team hopes to build full-time teams in Southeast Asia and Australia cleaning the planet 5 days a week, every week, every year, for the next 100 years.