Sea monster made of bottles and cans descends on museum to keep oceans litter free

Exchange for Change

on display until 29 January 2020

at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour

The Return and Earn Kraken – made from approximately 4,000 plastic bottles and cans – has descended on the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, to highlight the importance of recycling and the need to eliminate litter and plastics in our environment.

While the terrifying, destructive sea monster may have started as myth, the 21st century kraken has come to life in the form of vast masses of plastic and litter menacing our oceans and marine life. Alarmingly, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.

Before the launch of the Return and Earn in December 2017, more than 160 million bottles and cans were littered in NSW every year, polluting our parks, waterways and beaches.

However, over the last two years more than three billion bottles and cans have been returned through Return and Earn, with 100% of containers deposited being recycled. This phenomenal figure shows that collectively we can contribute to reducing waste and building a more sustainable and greener future.

Anyone can be part of the solution by returning any empty eligible drink bottles and cans to their nearest return point and earning 10c per container.

It takes 200-500 years for an aluminium can to breakdown, up to 1000 years for a plastic bottle and an incredible 1 million years for glass. But when you Return and Earn, you’re contributing to a high-quality stream of recyclable resources and energy savings – the energy saved from recycling one glass bottle alone is enough to power your television for 20 minutes.

Discover more by visiting the Return and Earn Kraken, on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum until 29 January 2019.

You can also help support bushfire and drought affected communities while visiting the museum by returning your empty bottles and cans to the Kraken, with the 10c refund from each container donated to TOMRA’s Bottles for the Bush appeal.

The Return and Earn Kraken was developed in partnership by Return and Earn and the Australian National Maritime Museum, with thanks to TOMRA Cleanaway. Visit for

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