British artists Joe Rush and Alex Wreckage have built a Mount Rushmore-inspired sculpture of the 7 G7 world leaders, made entirely from electronic waste. Revealed on the eve of the G7 summit in Cornwall, Mount Recyclemore aims to draw attention to the need to reduce e-waste.
“We need to recycle stuff, we need to make stuff last,” said Rush via The Guardian. “We can’t just throw it into the landfill. It’s not just a politician’s problem; it’s a problem that the human race has to deal with.”
The sculpture was commissioned by used electronics retailer musicMagpie, which states that the purpose of Mount Recyclemore is to “highlight the growing threat e-waste poses to the environment and the importance of taking action now.”
Built by 15 artists over 6 weeks, it represents UK prime minister Boris Johnson, Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga, French president Emmanuel Macron, Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and U.S. President Joe Biden. Each face measures approximately 3 feet wide and 10 feet high.
E-waste releases toxic chemicals into the environment such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, with terrible consequences both for the ecosystem and our own health. Failure to recycle and reappropriate resources from e-waste also means more must be mined to make new electronics, creating more greenhouse gases.
Mount Recyclemore is located at Sandy Acres in Cornwall, near Carbis Bay where the summit will be held. It will be taken down on Sunday, after which it will be reassembled at musicMagpie’s headquarters.