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Cigarette Butt Montages

Chris Jordan's 'Toxic Forest' is a Digital Compilation of 139,000 Butts

— October 14, 2013 — Lifestyle
'Toxic Forest' is a startling piece by Seattle-based Chris Jordan that features a forest made out of cigarettes. The montage is made up of hundreds individual, high resolution pictures of cigarette butts that the artist gathered from Seattle, Washington and Austin, Texas. After he took the photographs, he multiplied them digitally until he had 139,000 images. This number is significant because this is the same number of cigarettes that are smoked and then thrown out every 15 seconds in America.

Legacy commissioned 'Toxic Forest' in an effort to raise awareness about the harmful environmental effect this form of waste can have, especially within ecosystems. This project is part of a series Jordan is doing called 'Running the Numbers,' where the pieces are a visual representation of a statistic related to American culture.
Trend Themes
1. Eco-art - There is an opportunity for artists and businesses to utilize eco-art to raise awareness about environmental issues, like cigarette waste.
2. Environmental Consciousness - Companies can capitalize on increased environmental consciousness by promoting sustainable practices and products to mitigate waste like that caused by cigarette butts.
3. Zero-waste Solutions - With the increasing public scrutiny of waste, there is an opportunity for businesses to create zero-waste solutions throughout the supply chain of products with excess waste like cigarettes.
Industry Implications
1. Tobacco - The tobacco industry can innovate by developing more eco-friendly packaging and getting involved in projects that address the environmental harm of cigarette waste like 'Toxic Forest.'
2. Art - The art industry can use ecologically sustainable materials for creating art, as seen in 'Toxic Forest,' and encourage using their platform to create environmental awareness through artwork.
3. Waste Management - As waste management strategies continue to be refined in the face of global climate change, the industry can capitalize on this trend by developing and marketing innovations in waste management technology that recycle and reuse cigarette butts and other waste products.
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