Residents of the Lithgow Council area figured significantly in the results of the 2022 Waste 2 Art competition.
The competition, run by Netwaste has been running for 18 years and each year gives local councils across the Central West a chance to host the awards ceremony and display the entries.
In 2022 the event moved to Lithgow, and mayor Maree Statham was on hand to present the awards.
Waste 2 Art has a different theme each year, and this year it was soft plastics.
Aspiring and professional artists were invited to create artworks from materials that would normally be thrown away in the hope that we can raise awareness about the enormous challenges surrounding waste in our society and encourage us all to think about what we can do to try and reduce the amount of waste we create.
"Plastic has transformed our everyday lives but the volume of plastic, and its long lifespan, makes it one of our biggest waste problems," NetWaste's Environmental Learning advisor Sue Clarke said.
"We produce 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, equating to about 130 kilograms per person. Of this, only 12 per cent is recovered and up to 130,000 tonnes of plastic will find its way into our waterways and then the ocean each year or end up in parks or along roadsides as litter."
Lithgow Council had eight finalists in the 2022 competition:
"When I went to see the exhibition I was so impressed by the quality of the works, so I was surprised and thrilled to win a prize at the Regional Waste 2 Art for both Open Functional with 'Bright Bowls' and for Open 2D 'Earth Palette with Echidnas," Outright winner in the 2D category, Prue Mogg said.
"'Bright Bowls' was a series of paper mache bowls made from masses of assignments and study notes from many years of studying various vocational courses.
"'Earth Palette with Echidnas' was a scrap quilt, made from literal scraps of fabric - from old clothes, sheets and curtains - some of which I had dyed with rust or eucalyptus."
Jillian Ashworth, who received a highly commended for a piece called 'Extinction not just for the Polar Bear', said she wanted to highlight the importance of individuals looking at their relationships with waste.
"Change starts with us the consumer, if we stop buying our Coca-Cola in plastic bottles Coca-Cola will stop selling the stuff in plastic bottles, we the consumer need to stop buying plastics and other non recyclable goods or look at our relationship with it," she said.
"In some parts of the world they are solving the waste issue by converting waste into building materials and building social housing, solving not in a waste issue but also a social issue. I would encourage a wealthy country like Australia to look at similar initiatives. This is our planet let's look out for it."
The finalists are on display at the Union Theatre, Bridge Street, Lithgow until August 7.
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