WATCH: Artist builds electric guitar from ocean plastic

A US-based YouTuber and ‘guitartist’ known as Burls Art has teamed up with ocean cleanup company 4Ocean to build a custom electric guitar out of recycled ocean plastic including discarded straws and bottle tops.

In the video, which can be seen below, the luthier begins by taking a diving trip with 4Ocean in South Florida to collect plastic from the ocean.

After the dive trip, Burls Art returns to 4Ocean’s facility, where the plastic is sorted into different types.

The artist selects high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene plastics, shaves them into small pieces and melts them down in an oven to make the basis of the guitar body.

After a little trial and error, he crafts a neck and fretboard from discarded straws and bottle caps set in clear epoxy resin.

“This was easily the most challenging build I’ve done so far,” Burls Art says. “But, it was a fun project where I got to use different methods I haven’t tried yet, and overall I think it came out looking pretty good.”

4Ocean is a for-profit business that has runs cleanup operations worldwide. Readers can listen to the guitar being played in this Instagram clip:

4Ocean employs full-time captains and crew to clear plastic from the ocean and sort it for recycling, and sells products such as clothing and jewellery to fund these clean-up operations. To date, the company says it has removed 9 million kg of plastic from the ocean.

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