JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – It graced Jacksonville Beach’s Seawalk Pavilion since November, but now the famous octopus made of single-use plastic will be moving to its new home at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, where it’ll continue to spread awareness about the environment.
Piece by piece and strand by strand, volunteers from Beaches Go Green broke down the area’s most visible artificial sea creature on Sunday.
As president of her Ponte Vedra High School’s chapter, senior Natalie Decker knew she was in for a big, but important, job.
“It’s really fun to be able to have this as something that we’re all apart of,” Decker said. “But the breakdown and the setup are always a big undertaking.”
The gigantic cephalopod is not only made up of tens of thousands of single-use plastic bottles, but it’s also responsible for more than 1,000 volunteer hours. Now, it’ll soon be on its way to the Jacksonville zoo.
Beaches Go Green founder Anne Marie Moquin explained it served its purpose by spreading awareness and will do so again.
“These bottles can last up to 450 years as they break up into microplastics,” Moquin said. “A lot of people don’t understand why microplastics are bad. The reason they’re bad is now they’re found in the air that we breathe and the water that we drink.”
News4Jax was told the entire octopus represents the plastic consumption for more than six people in a yearlong time frame.
Once the octopus is taken to the Jacksonville zoo, it’ll be stored a period of time before a master plan on how it’ll be displayed is created.
Decker hopes the octopus will inspire people to stick with reusable products and follow the four R’s.
“Refuse, reduce, reuse and then recycle is last,” explained Decker. “It’s supposed to make up for the mistakes we made in the first two steps.”
Moquin said the goal is to have most of the octopus disassembled Sunday night before it’s hauled away Monday morning.