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Giant dolphin makes a big splash in college reception


A giant dolphin has made a big splash at Telford College as part of a community recycling campaign.

‘Flipper’ the dolphin is a life-sized, hollow metal dolphin sculpture designed to be filled with soft plastic confectionery wrappers.

It has been created by the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry – the organisation behind the famous ‘Knife Angel’ – which says: “Every year, eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in our ocean.

“Not only does this plastic debris harm and kill fish, marine mammals and seabirds, it also pollutes the human food chain. Whilst recycling and beach clean-up initiatives are important, the most effective changes come through education.

“Flipper the dolphin not only encourages recycling and the reduction of plastic consumption, but also acts as a visual protest against the plastic industry.

“The sculpture is designed to raise awareness, to encourage children to look into alternatives to plastics, and to educate young people about the harm that plastics cause to marine life and how it eventually affects us all.”

The dolphin’s home for the rest of June is the reception area at Telford College’s Haybridge campus in Wellington, where students are being urged to recycle their empty crisp packets.

Staff and students at the college’s Willow Tree Centre, which supports people with severe learning difficulties, approached the British Ironwork Centre to loan the dolphin as part of The Great Big Green Week – the huge UK community campaign to tackle climate change.

Once a significant number of packets have been collected by Flipper on its travels, the Centre says it will use them to create ‘something innovative and useful for the community’.

One of the suggestions is to use the packets to create blankets for the homeless.

The Willow Tree Centre was keen to bring the dolphin to Telford College to fit in with its ‘community participation’ study activities, where one group has been looking at plastics within the ocean and the importance of recycling at college and at home.