If you’ve ever wondered what a world-renowned sand sculptor can do with a pile of sand that weighs as much as a blue whale, make sure to visit the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Fl.
Since October 25, 2014, Ted Siebert and Brian Turnough—who won the 2013 gold medal at the pairs sand sculpting world championships—have been working on a sculpture sponsored by Glass Is Life for the BLUE Ocean Film Festival.
“The sculpture will personify the ocean and showcase a treasure chest of beautiful glass protected by her,” says Siebert. “My vision is to show people in St. Petersburg how much the ocean depends on and loves glass.”
The list of what makes glass good for oceans, families and businesses is no surprise to Glass Is Life. The global movement, started in 2011 by Owens-Illinois and Doremus New York, has a simple goal: to get people around the world excited about choosing glass in their homes, at the store and in their communities.
It’s not just a beautiful; glass is endlessly recyclable and safe for food, families and the ocean. It’s also the only package that is reusable.
O-I works with customers all over the world. Saga Shoffner, vice president of global communications and brand marketing at Owens-Illinois, is one of the many O-I employees who is passionate about glass, and shares the benefits of glass packaging and the small changes people can make every day to help protect the ocean.
“Glass is a beautiful, natural material that is intrinsically connected to the ocean and sand,” says Shoffner. “Our presence at BLUE Ocean Film Festival is two-fold: we want to introduce the tie between the ocean and glass with Ted’s beautiful sand sculpture. We also want to get people thinking about the difference buying food and drinks in glass packaging can make for the ocean.”
Why are glass and the ocean so dependent on one another? Glass is made from sand, soda ash and limestone. It starts from natural elements and while no packaging material should end up in the ocean, glass would eventually break back down to the sand it came from.
Glass Is Life uses inventive ways to engage with its online community. From Instagram photo contests to tips on upcycling old glass packaging and DIY projects for kids, the community has grown to almost 300,000 strong worldwide. Glass Is Life and O-I’s support for the BLUE Ocean Film Festival this year will collide their belief in glass with ocean activists, filmmakers and media elite for one amazing week in St. Petersburg.
Ted Siebert is looking forward to interacting with film festival attendees and locals a like.
“My favorite part of any sand sculpture is talking with the people who are curious about the process and the message,” says Siebert. “Having this sculpture represent such an important one is just the cherry on top.”
The team is currently working outside of the Mahaffey Theater. The finished sculpture will be on display during the BLUE Ocean Film Festival, November 3-9, 2014.
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