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2018-09-07 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


September 7, 2018  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

SodaStream is behind this 20-foot Statue of Liberty replica drowning in plastic bottles


This SodaStream display was set up in New York City this month to raise awareness of the negative consequences of one-use plastic bottles. This SodaStream display was set up in New York City this month to raise awareness of the negative consequences of one-use plastic bottles. NEW YORK – Tourists and locals wandering around Flatiron Plaza in downtown Manhattan were met with an unusual sight: a 20-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty standing in a steel cage filled with empty plastic bottles and metal cans.

On the other side of the eyecatching set-up, titled “Drowning Liberty,” were booths with people handing out glasses of seltzer. The installation, on display for three days last week, was organized by SodaStream, an Israeli company that sells at-home carbonation kits, together with the Oceanic Society.

Its goal is to raise awareness of the negative consequences of single use plastic (and drum up business for the company while they’re at it). Passers-by were encouraged to sign SodaStream’s sustainability pledge, promising to eschew one-use bottles for reusable ones. The company claims that making soda at home in reusable bottles results in “less plastic manufactured, less plastic waste and less transport of bottled beverages.”

“We have no choice,” SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said in a statement. “We have to go reusable. Annual plastic production is skyrocketing and the U.S. is one of the biggest polluters in the world.”

Among those who stopped by to sign the pledge was Adrian Grenier, an actor known for his role on the TV series Entourage.

Passers-by who paused to take photos and have a drink of seltzer told JTA that the set-up resonated with them.

Henry Ortega, 24, said that seeing Lady Liberty up to her waist in plastic bottles reminded him of the importance of not littering. “As you know, the city of New York is dirty in the streets,” he said. “This can actually give us an open mind that we’ve got to wake up. It’s a wake-up call.”

Azinat Axorova, a 28-year-old visitor from Russia, said the statue made her think of what she had observed about Americans’ consumer habits. “Americans use a lot of things that they don’t need,” she said. “Consumption in this country is so vast that there is so much waste that you don’t even think about it.”

Last month, PespiCo announced plans to acquire SodaStream for $3.2 billion.

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