Life-sized elephant made out of 30,000 used batteries highlights number dumped in landfill every year

'Creating this elephant has been a humbling reminder that powering change can come from anywhere,' says artist Tony Diaz

Astrid Hall
Wednesday 31 July 2019 16:09
Life-sized elephant made out of 30,000 used batteries

A life-sized elephant has been created using nearly 30,000 used batteries to highlight the thousands of tonnes of cells that end up in landfill each year.

More than one million schoolchildren collected the batteries used to create the 10ft-tall structure, which weighs two tonnes.

The elephant will be on show at Hanwell Zoo in west London for the duration of the summer holidays.

Artist Tony Diaz who created the sculpture, said: “It has taken 400 hours and in excess of 29,000 recycled batteries but every moment has been worth it. 'Creating this elephant has been a humbling reminder that powering change can come from anywhere.

''It is so inspiring to see the younger generation actively involved in making the world a better place and teaching their own parents and loved ones about the importance of recycling.”

The sculpture took 400 hours to complete

Battery manufacturer Duracell, which organised the project, said it hoped the sculpture would draw attention to the “elephant in the room” of the recycling debate and “inspire a new generation of battery recyclers”.

Beau-Jensen McCubbin, a spokesman for Hanwell Zoo said: “We are very proud to be the home of the Big Battery Hunt elephant and are very keen to continue to encourage our visitors to reduce landfill waste. Our environment is so fragile, and now more than ever we all need to be doing our bit to protect our planet and the incredible biodiversity that calls it home.

“We all have a responsibility to be more sustainable and we are calling on all of our visitors to make a difference by bringing their used batteries along with them on their visit to Hanwell Zoo. “We have bins in place to collect all the used batteries you can find.”

Christina Turner, associate marketing director at Duracell added: “Generation Z are increasingly making their voices on sustainability heard. By reflecting the provocative tone of the young activist movement and shining a spotlight on these young change makers, the Big Battery Hunt aims to inspire long-term, positive recycling behaviours.

'We have been so impressed with the efforts of the 1.3 million students involved".

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She added: ''That’s a lot of children driving change. But you do not have to be of primary school age to be a battery recycler, it is a lot easier than people realise. You can even do it at your local grocery store.”

The elephant sculpture will be based in Ealing’s Hanwell Zoo from 31 July and throughout the school summer holidays for the public to come and visit.

After the holidays, all the batteries used in its construction will be recycled.


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