Make Art Not Waste

On the island of Koh Seh, arts and crafts with plastic from beach cleans are a creative and functional alternative to the incineration of ocean plastics. Marine Conservation Cambodia run daily clean ups around the island and organise large joint clean ups on Kep Mainland beaches.

Documenting the Deluge (2017-18)

Waste reflects society’s behaviour. Even flip-flops get tangled in the mess of string, plastic, fishing lines and rope… trees, decorated with ripped plastic bags and rope.

Beach in Koh Seh

Collected beach plastics

The average contents of a plastic beach clean.
In this part of the world, fishing gear is a major source of plastic pollution....
Personal hygiene seems to be a major source of plastic pollution. Another reason we should take this problem personally.
Disposable lighters make a colourful addition to our plastic collection. We empty the gas out of them before using them in creations.
Make-up containers. These are particularly irksome because so much hard plastic is being used for the smallest amount of cream. So unnecessary!
Single use straws really need to become a thing of the past. There are plenty of alternatives: bamboo, metal, paper.
Cutlery, especially spoons, are found in abundance .
These colourful squid lures are easy to spot!
Not a pretty sight, toothbrushes are a regular find on beach cleans
Toys of all shapes, colours and sizes constantly wash up on the shore.

Creative projects

Projects include:

Bottle top step mosaics

Bottle top murals

Hanging wall of fishing buoys

Lighter Lampshades

Fan guards woven with straws



We visit Nina Clayton of Make Art Not Waste on the remote island of Koh Seh in Cambodia to see how they handle plastic pollution, and ideas to make art, not waste.

Video shows:

  • cigarette lighter lampshades
  • eco brick steps with plastic bottle tops
  • painting on reclaimed wood
  • fans woven with plastic straws
  • plastic bottle hanging wall
  • fishing buoy hanging wall
  • found art plastic collage
  • workshop with large collection of sorted found plastic – love that Nina describes it as Treasure

Make Art Not Waste, Cambodia


Make art not waste came about in 2017 when Nina Clayton, an Environmental Science graduate and Dive Master studying marine conservation, became aware of the devastating amount of plastic waste in the ocean after witnessing it washing ashore daily on the remote island of Koh Seh in Cambodia.

Nina and other Marine Conservation Cambodia volunteers make artworks, mosaics, sculptures and installations from the beach finds. An outreach programme was created to spread awareness among schools and universities in Cambodia.

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