«Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project» 
17 April – 23 August 2015
Universalmuseum Joanneum 

An exhibition on the theme of ‘Plastic in the Sea’ in landlocked Austria? 
The Universalmuseum Joanneum – founded in 1811 in the spirit of the Enlightenment as Austria’s first public museum – aims to take a stance on social and political themes these days, too.
The Natural History Museum of the Universalmuseum Joanneum presents scientific phenomena in exciting exhibitions, explains the basics of geological, mineralogical and biological science, thereby directing our gaze towards the natural world around us. Moreover, we shall sharpen our focus on the influence of man’s actions on nature and our life bound to it.  For this reason we are especially pleased to be able to show the exhibition out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project in Austria for the first time!
Austria may be landlocked, yet even from here we influence the state of the oceans’ ecosystems: a major portion of the plastic products that we use every day are collected, it is true, partially to be recycled, and partially to be burnt for heat production. Yet thoughtlessly discarded rubbish ends up in the sea eventually via rivers. Likewise, tiny plastic pellets from peeling products or microfibres from fleece jackets are flushed out from our flats directly into the sea over the sewerage system.
With the exhibition Out to Sea? we draw attention to this problem, exactly because in the minds of Styrians it mostly seems very far away. We clarify the problems, causes and effects that characterise plastic waste, putting forward tentative solutions – so that we don’t just come face to face with the huge piles of plastic rubbish swirling in the world’s seas when on holiday.
Within the scope of the exhibition, visitors are informed about the waste separation system operating in Graz, as well as about re-cycling and up-cycling.
By educating the public in a fascinating way, and by maintaining a significant presence in social media, we thus raise awareness across the board.