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Recycling, cleaning up our environment, collecting plastic from the Thames, the beaches and the foreshore. We invited you to recycle your used or unloved plastic into a beautiful mandala. What are the alternatives to plastic?

If you’re feeling inspired to take action and help to clean up your local foreshore, find out more from Thames 21

Or volunteer for Rivercare and find out how to protect a river and save the sea.

Browse the other mandala galleries via the buttons below.
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Spring Clean Mandala, Grays Wharf

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This mandala was made out of plastics collected from the river Thames, and cleaned by Steve Catchpole and volunteers from Thames21 along with artist Kara Thompson and local helpers.

Thank you to artists Kara Thompson, Hi Ching, Emily and Carole Moon.

Artist Kara Thompson introduces the Spring Clean Mandala that was created for the T100 Calling festival in Grays.

Kara Thompson talks about the Spring Clean Mandala make in Grays.

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Film and photos by Mike Johnston

Aerial photography thanks to Unique Imaging

Spring Clean Mandala by Emily Moon

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Purple Flower Mandala from drink bottle caps. Emily said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the T100 Mandala project during lock down. I created this mandala with bottle caps. The design is inspired by Sunflowers and Verbenas.”

Spring Clean Mandalas by Thurrock CVS and ngage Thurrock

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ngage Volunteer Centre and Thurrock CVS staff had great fun creating mandalas from recycled plastics

Spring Clean Mandala by Southend BeachCare Group

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A mandala from the lovely Southend BeachCare Group who tirelessly clean Southend beaches, picking up the plastic rubbish and cigarette butts left behind.

Spring Clean Mandalas by Sally Chinea

Spring Clean mandala by Sally Chinea

Recycle /plastic, using washers nuts and bolts, plastic resists in indigo dying – leave longer and you get rust prints! Throw nothing away!

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Taking old bottles and found sea glass to create new things ! Bowls, coasters art… Fused glass!

There is still much debate over the advantages and disadvantages with the recycling of glass on industrial; With the high impact and costs of furnaces, labour and sorting, (still often going abroad) there is still work to be done!

Art glass takes it to another level, creating new pieces from significant glass, each piece has a story to tell, a birthday, a wedding day or other celebration.

Spring Clean Mandala by Michaela Freeman

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Today’s mandala is from our recycling bag this week. it made me think about how much we are throwing away every week.

Even if it’s expected to be recycled, it’s not guaranteed – see War on Plastic documentary on BBC iPlayer about recycling being sent abroad and burned there.
Could we reduce it? Can I juice oranges instead of buying the juice? Do we need juice? Can I buy the olives fresh instead of tinned? Should we swap to milk delivered in glass bottles?

Spring Clean Mandalas by Carole Moon

I made this Mandala with the individual pieces that make up the pump on a liquid soap bottle.

This is my mandala for the Spring Clean theme using plastic bottles that I had been collecting for another project. I found a novel way to make paper chains from the bottle labels and the centre piece is the lid of a bottle of spray cream.

Spring Clean Mandala by Emily Moon

I have been collecting plastics since January for an art installation. I was inspired by the Spring Clean theme to use some of the plastic bottles & lids to create a mandala.

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My mandala began with the central star of orange Lucozade bottles and I worked my way out from there, increasing in size. This mandala made me very aware of the plastic waste I have produced in the last few months, even though they were destined to be a permanent art installation, I was shocked at the quantity collected and I felt bad. I have been actively decreasing my plastic waste over the past few years but I aim to continue to use less and less plastic, or only those that are currently recyclable in the future.


Spring Clean Mandala by Steve Catchpole

Plastic safety equipment recovered from the Thames by the Grays Beachcombers.
The irony – safety equipment that are actually polluting rivers and oceans and ultimately endangering all life. Especially relevant as we currently see our streets littered with used and discarded PPE.

I hope the Spring Clean mandala will raise awareness/discussion of global plastics problem and the UK contribution. I hope that it will encourage others to recycle at home, not contribute to problem, and the Keep Britain Tidy ethos (litter picking in own street/park/river).

Thurrock 100 would like to extend a huge thank you to its funders and delivery partners.


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Delivery Partners

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