Our latest exhibition - Reuse.

15 March 2023

This week we have been busy taking down our last exhibition, Endurance, and installing our new exhibition, Reuse. We have been joined by one of our volunteers, MA Fine Art student Sourabh Sharma, seen in the images below emptying the cases and wrapping objects for their return to storage.


Although MoDiP often refers to plastics recycling initiatives through our ongoing interpretation and engagement programmes, the Reuse exhibition was an opportunity to examine industry responses to recent legislation.

In 2019, the EU published a directive that aimed to promote circular approaches to manufacturing in an attempt to reduce quantities of generated waste. For similar reasons, in 2022, the UK Government introduced a tax on plastics packaging, and in the same year the UN adopted a resolution to end plastic pollution.

As consumers, we should take responsibility for the purchases we make and consider the environmental impact of those choices. However, these laws will help to encourage designers and manufacturers to take their share of the responsibility through, for example, using materials effectively and efficiently.

Pam (left) and Louise (right) installing objects.
Image credit: Katherine Pell

The objects on display will demonstrate ways in which the reuse of raw materials, as well as products, can help to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics. They will also show how products can be created to support recycling at the end of their useful life, and provide a variety of ways that a single recycling resource can be used.


In light of the subject of this exhibition, we also wanted to re-evaluate the sustainability of our own practices. For example, several years ago we made the decision to avoid using foam core board in our exhibitions because it is difficult to recycle, favouring in-house printing of text on paper placed in reusable acrylic mounts. This year we have made the decision to stop using non-recyclable vinyl lettering for our case headings. The image above shows Pam scraping some of this off of one of the glass doors, with the used film being either sent for landfill or incineration through normal waste. To counter this we have chosen to incorporate each case theme within the paper text panels. It may not be as immediate visually but it is certainly more sustainable. The Reuse exhibition will officially open on Friday 17th March and will be on display until 8th September 2023.
Katherine Pell
Collections Officer