A GIANT sculpture addressing the issue of plastic pollution has been unveiled in New Brighton as part of the tall ships celebration weekend.

Artist Lulu Quinn's 'Message in a Bottle' is a 26ft (8m) bottle made entirely from recycled plastic, which at night becomes a beacon, illuminated from within.

The installation can be viewed at Marine Point, before moving to the nearby Marine Lake on tomorrow.

It is one of two created as part of the ‘Changing Tides’ creative programme, funded by Arts Council England and curated for the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta taking place in Liverpool and Wirral until Monday (see related story links at the end of this article).

The second bottle will appear in Salthouse Dock in Liverpool over the festival weekend.

The larger-than-life sculptures have been constructed entirely from thousands of used plastic bottles collected from across Merseyside.

The bottles were collected with support from organisations including Veolia working in partnership with MRWA.

Working with Wirral Council’s Eco Schools and Love Where You Live initiatives, Lulu teamed up with local primary school children to construct part of the giant bottle and talk about how we can save our seas from floating plastic.

The children added to the sculpture, sharing their thoughts on pollution and the environment.

When the bottle is displayed at Marine Point, visitors can add their own message or environmental pledge.

Matthew Patrick, cabinet member for environment at Wirral Council said: "I'm delighted that Wirral will be home to one of Lulu Quinn's inspiring sculptures.

"It will act as a great talking point and powerful reminder of the shocking amount of plastic threatening our oceans.

"We must all become part of the solution and it’s great to see that pupils from Wirral's Eco Schools are taking the lead and they have already made some inspiring pledges.

"Reports predicted that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish, so we need to all take action now.

"Wirral is lucky to be surrounded by three coasts and we must do everything to protect them.

"We have already made a commitment to drive us towards a Single Use Plastic Free Wirral and I look forward to working with partners including our excellent community groups on more exciting developments in this area.

"Wirral is a beautiful place to live and work and our residents are committed to keeping it that way for present and future generations."

A special ceremony will take place at Marine Lake tomorrow at 6.30pm, as the bottle lights up for the first time.

The illumination will be accompanied by a performance from Merseyside Dance Initiative, developed in collaboration with award-winning choreographer Darren Suarez.

A spectacular fleet of tall ships from across the world will return to Liverpool for the fifth time for the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta, a free event which takes place between 25 and 28 May 2018.

Family-friendly activities have been planned on both sides of the river to celebrate the festival.

It is the first major event in the exciting Imagine Wirral year of culture, creativity and ideas for the borough. Over the weekend, Wirral is hosting a range of maritime-themed events including street theatre, music performances, creative and circus workshops and a spectacular 3D projection onto Birkenhead Town Hall.

The events in Wirral have been organised by Wirral Council and are supported by Arts Council England. Liverpool’s events include international and local art works, installations, music, dance and theatrical performances commissioned by Culture Liverpool.

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