The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
April 3, 2009

New FPF Video & Volunteers needed for Bay to Breakers!


Remember last year when I dressed as a Brita filter for the Bay to Breakers to promote the Take Back The Filter Campaign? And remember how I said I wouldn’t do it without at least one volunteer? Tanya and Christa accepted the challenge and were awesome!

This year, I would love to find more volunteers to help me bring the North Pacific Gyre (aka Pacific Garbage Patch) to San Francisco to let people know about the problem with plastic.

As you know, for almost two years now I have been hoarding my own plastic waste. In fact, I’ve amassed quite a collection, as you’ll see in the most recent Fake Plastic Fish video:

Video Link:

My idea: I envision us in beautiful plastic costumes, created from as much of this plastic collection as possible, twirling together across San Francisco, imitating the motion of the Gyre. (I’m inspired by all the episodes of Project Runway I’ve watched recently.) I see some fish and birds and sea turtles caught up in the mass of plastic somehow. We’re handing out small fliers printed on recycled paper, providing facts and resource information. And we’re probably wearing signs, either in our hands or attached to our bodies in some way.

Each year, Bay to Breakers holds a costume contest. Last year, they had a green category. I don’t know what the categories will be this year, but I’m hoping for another green one. I believe that in order to participate in the costume contest, you must be a registered participant. This means paying the entry fee of $44 ($48 after April 30.)

Anyone know of an organization that would sponsor us?

We’ll need not only volunteers to show up on that day (Sunday, May 17, 2009) but also smart, creative people to offer advice, suggestions, crafty ideas. In other words, you don’t have to live in the Bay Area to help out.

I’m going to start on costume design this weekend. Anyone else in?


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16 Comments on "New FPF Video & Volunteers needed for Bay to Breakers!"

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Wow! You deserve so much credit! That’s hardly any plastic waste at all. Your cat is really funny! It’s like she hates plastic too and wants to destroy it!
I love Elenor’s project of sending packaging back to the company. I’ve always thought that it is ridiculous for consumers to have to deal with sorting all of this garbage. It should be stopped at the source!

Hi Beth,
I’ve been following and admiring your blog for quite some time but have not commented yet.

When I read your post today I thought you might get some costume inspiration from this woman’s wonderful blog and some of her plastic vortex creations.

And just for fun, check out these fabulous dresses!

Good luck with your costume.


I have started a project regarding wasteful plastic packaging. I sending back the packaging to the president of the corporation or company and including a short note about plastic waste and requesting that the company do better in the future to reduce plastic waste. I am mailing the package to the president or CEO and not anyone else, because mail filters down NOT up at most large companies.

Anonymous, that is a super question. The honest answer is that I just don’t know. I would hope that I would put my vanity aside and deal with the metal braces, which require far fewer materials than the pile of plastic Invisalign I went through (this video doesn’t even show all of it because there were many that I threw away before starting this project.) The thing is, I had metal braces as a kid. And the reason I had to have Invisalign as an adult is that I didn’t wear my retainer like I should have, and my teeth… Read more »

I have a super-random question. If you had to get braces again, would you get metal braces to eliminate plastic waste?

This is a call to everyone to please step outside the right vs. left paradigm. While there are important issues worth debating within this paradigm, all of them will be moot if we do not focus on a much greater issue outside this paradigm. Thomas Jefferson warned of wealth concentrating to such an extent that it threatened the state. Nowadays the media has taught us all very well to ridicule anyone who talks of central banks usurping the power of government. Well now I suppose the media will have to laugh at themselves, as many outlets from Newsweek to the… Read more »

Hi Beth,

Really enjoyed your plastic waste video. I follow the same idea to avoid landfill/incineration for 5 years.

Finding use for the waste is worthwhile. Good like with the fashion show.

I could build energy efficient homes out of your plastic waste.


Geez Beth if I lived closer I’d help you build the costumes. Creative reuse is one of the tentpoles of my blog and my recycling bin is one of my favorite sources for DIY and craft projects. I’ve fused plastic bags to sew into shopping totes. If you have any questions about it, email me. As for costumes, I saw on an online costume contest, a woman dressed as a mermaid who was “strangled” by plastic of the Gyre. It won. About the video. I noticed your cat chewing on the plastic. Do you give her chewies? Not being owned… Read more »

I will think of ideas and e-mail if I think of them.

I would SO be there if I was closer!!!

Nice video! I love your kitties!

If you have enough time and a sewing machine, you can fuse plastic bags to make a stronger plastic “fabric”. It’s very resistant and it can become any kind of costume.

I’ll e-mail you with some ideas that have come to my mind. They’re really lame but I can’t help it, I love making recycled crafts…

Anarres Natural Health

I bet that Improv Everywhere! and public space advocates would love to join your Live Plastic Gyre.

Please post photos afterwards!

Love & RRRevolution, Traceyt

Slightly off-topic, but I just learned about the Plastiki, a 60-ft catamaran being built out of plastic bottles as the foundation of a documentary about the Gyre. Your thoughts about building a costume out of your plastic waste are totally in line with this guy! ;)

For your first layer…if you cut open the bottom of a used plastic grocery bag you could easily turn it into a plastic tank top…gender neutral.

Martin at Plasticless

If you convince an army of volunteers to invest in ocean blue spandex outfits, I hope they find lots of other opportunities to where them.

This idea would be very involved, but may give you an interesting costume; what about a 1920’s style flapper dress using plastic fish layered either on the skirt part or the whole dress?