Every year, millions of cigarette butts, plastic bottles, food wrappers, and other litter wash up on our beaches. Non-profit organization Washed Ashore Project has found a way to simultaneously repurpose this trash and raise awareness of beach waste. Using the litter found on the shores, the team creates giant, impressive sculptures of the marine animals most affected by the trash.

The project, started by the Artula Institute for Arts & Environmental Education, gathers community members together to collect materials from the beach. Overseen by lead artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi, the group creates elaborate works of art, finding a use for almost everything they pick up. This includes the debris combed from beaches that is petroleum-based, like plastic items, nylon ropes, and net. (These products make up 90 percent of all beach debris.)

Each piece is a beautiful, albeit stark reminder of the ways we are hurting our planet. Washed Ashore hopes to further educate the public and get beach-goers to think twice before leaving their trash behind.

[h/t: Bored Panda]