Eyes on PolyU

Sea glass and our environment

What are people’s treasures? Diamonds, rubies, or emeralds? To some people, sea glass is also a precious and colourful gem that happens to be found near the coast. A quality piece of sea glass has no shiny spots, is well frosted and has smooth tactile edges. It can be best upcycled to become simple and elegant necklace pendants.

Sea glass in different shapes and colours

In a recent workshop, an invited instructor met PolyU staff and students online and guided them to create their own upcycled sea glass jewellery. Step-by-step, they went through the processes and brought to life their own genuine sea glass treasures.

Instructor demonstrates how to turn sea glass into pendants

Nevertheless, before we turn these marvellous pieces of sea glass into jewellery items, are we aware of what sea glass is and why it exists? The fact is sea glass is nothing more than ordinary glass, mostly old bottles, jars, broken dishware, or even glass windshields dumped by people into the ocean. Over a long period of years, the water, rocks and sand smoothed the glass edges and turned it into a small gem like creation. The instructor shared she used to find sea glass pieces in white, green, brown colours and they are likely the condiments bottles, beer bottles, soft drinks bottles or even bottles carrying essential oils. And that means, our oceans, unfortunately, end up being a dumping place for all sorts of trash whether from ships or from those who visit the shores.

Working on sea glass pieces

We can appreciate the beauty of these stone-sized pieces of sea glass, repurpose them and turn them from trash into treasures. But more importantly, we should look into the truth behind it. Sea glass is a gentle reminder about how people discard their trash into the oceans. It humbly tells how people pollute the environment. As we enjoy the sight of having amazing sea glass along the coast and feel excited turning them into pendants and other accessories, let’s not forget the principle that we should not litter our oceans and seas and leave our unwanted waste into the waters. The natural environment deserves respect but not risks.

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