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Andy Hughes studied in Fine art at Cardiff University before receiving a scholarship to study photography at the Royal College of Art, London. His work explores the littoral zone and the politics of plastic waste. A book called Dominant Wave Theory that includes essays by world leading scientists, published by Booth- Clibborn Editions & Abrams, New York, marks this exploration. Hughes was the first Artist in Residence at Tate Gallery St. Ives and reserve residency artist for the Arts Council England Antarctic Survey Fellowship.
supports various non-profits such as Surfers Against Sewage and The RAWfoundation and is an affiliate artist with the Plastic Pollution Coalition (Los Angeles). His work has been featured in various broadcast and print media including the BBC, National Geographic and the Guardian Environment.

He was invited to joinGyre : The Plastic Ocean, the worlds first project that explored the integration of science and art to document and interpret the issue of plastic pollution in the marine environment. He joined Mark Dion and Pam Longobardi including author and ecologist Carl Safina. A National Geographic film, exhibition and book was supported by the NOAA, Smithsonian Institution, Rasmusson Foundation and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and others. 

Surfers Against Sewage asked Andy to explain to us his number one plastic enemy and where is his favorite beach.

" Hayle to Godrevy in Cornwall is my favourite stretch of the UK’s coastline, I find it truly inspirational. I have also visited far away beaches where very few humans have trodden. To my dismay they were covered in plastic waste of one form or another. I’ve touched plastic material toothed by grizzly bears and viewed floating plastic shoes on vast kelp beds whilst as sea. Plastic for the most part a very visible and destructive material. It has increased in manufacture and use beyond what we could ever have imagined over the last fifty years, this should be of concern to everyone. My top number one criminal is single use plastic water bottles. Many wealthy governments have spent hundreds of millions of pounds providing safe water to drink. This is something to be proud of and to make full use of. Helping others across the world to provide safe clean water is key to helping solve one part of this plastic problem. The marketisation of water and its packaging in plastic is therefore number one on my plastic hate list. Refillable water carrying items is one object that I see in use more and more. It is no new thing but many charities and NGO’s are now promoting its use and I like how it’s developing. It is a simple and practical way to say no to plastic production. Carry and use one as a badge of honour and resistance. Every single turn of the earth, every wave, every breath you take and every-time you choose not to buy plastic is in some way connected to everything else. When you choose to reduce or tackle your plastic footprint your choice is part of this continuing shift in forces which shape the earth and its future." 

© AndyHughes/Surfers Against Sewage

TRT World Broadcast

Plastic - it's designed to last - yet we treat it as disposable and somehow, millions of tonnes of it are ending up in the ocean. What can we do to stop it? The UN is calling it a planetary crisis and predicts there'll be as much plastic in the sea as fish in 25 years. Plastic is almost impossible to avoid. Are alternative materials the answer or even possible on a global scale? At the Roundtable was Emily Penn, a sailor and environmentalist; Risa Morimoto, a specialist in Economics at SOAS, University of London; photographer Andy Hughes; and Paul De Zylva, a senior campaigner at Friends of the Earth. Roundtable is a discussion programme with an edge. Broadcast out of London and presented by David Foster, it's about bringing people to the table, listening to every opinion, and analysing every point of view. From fierce debate to reflective thinking.

Watch Full Video Here