Our planet is drowning in waste, especially that of consumer plastic, washing up on every shore and taking over our nature. The only reason this isn’t visible everywhere, are the people working hard everyday to collect and sort our trash. In Mexico City these heroes are known as pepenadores.

Thomas Dambo made The Future Forest, not only to create awareness of this huge issue, but as a tribute to these everyday heroes, not nearly getting the recognition and respect, we all owe them.

Together with the pepenadores, their children, more than 700 students, an orphanage, an elderly home, and more than 100 volunteers, in two months Thomas and his team turned 3 tons of plastic waste into a colorful 500m2 forest with thousands of trees, plants, flowers and animals.

The Future Forest was built in Mexico’s Jardín Botánico de Chapultepec as a part of the 2018 Festival FYJA. Filmmaker Alexander Kaiser Lauritzen captured the Danish artist’s collaborative project in the video above. You can also see more photos on Dambo’s instagram:

A post shared by Thomas Dambo (@thomasdambo) on

A post shared by Thomas Dambo (@thomasdambo) on

Related projects around the world include Skyscraper, a giant found-plastic whale breaches in a Bruges canal, colorful animal sculptures made from upcycled flip-flops in Kenya, Dina Amin’s Tinker Friday Stop Motion Project in Egypt, and Argentina’s casa ecológica de botellas.

And previously from Dambo: Six Forgotten Giants, Copenhagen’s hidden scrap wood sculptures.

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