If you’ve been keeping an eye on Melbourne Metro YHA's Facebook, or indeed if you’ve stayed there recently, you may have noticed this monster sculpture…
Duty Manager Freddi took some time out of his busy schedule to explain the story behind this bizarre installation.
“It all started in one of our staff meetings last year - our housekeeper Carolina raised her concern about how many water bottles we find in our bins,” Freddi said.
“She came up with the idea of making a visual installation in our common areas, in where people would be able to see how many bottles we throw out daily and provide the information that people need to make the right choice.”
Thus, the idea for the Plastic Tower of Shame was born. Some metallic frames that were previously used to display travel brochures were recycled (so sustainable)! With the help of Melbourne Metro superstar handyman Ray, these were welded together and a base with wheels was added.
Melbourne Metro started bottle collection on 28 December 2018. On average, it takes about two weeks to fill the cage that holds around 500 water bottles.
Since plastic 500 water bottles is about 500 too many, the team empty the sculpture in various locations around the hostel to really get people's attention...
The point of the project? Bringing guests’ attentions to the facts, which are:
At YHA, we don’t believe that something that takes us a few minutes to drink should be continuing to poison the environment for hundreds and hundreds of years after we’re gone. Plus, paying for something we can get for free is totally against the Backpacker Code of Conduct.
This is why Melbourne Metro have resorted to such dramatic measures…and they’re working!
“Our sales on reusable water bottles have increased drastically which is a great sign!” Freddi said.
The moral of this story? Don’t bring a plastic water bottle to Melbourne Metro YHA, unless you’d like it to end up in the Plastic Tower of Shame.
Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle at one of our hostels, and fill it up with our cool, filtered tap water as many times as you like, for free!
Check out this video for more on this unique project.
Read more about our super sustainability initiatives here!