Cast Out is a project that turns trash into art. It was launched by Joanne Curtis, a journalist from the UK, who now resides in Gozo. Supported by The Melita Foundation, the project saw more than 4,000 plastic bottles that were collected during organised clean-ups in Gozo, transformed into artwork – an image of Christ by Artist Joseph Barbara, that is on exhibition at Ta’ Pinu.
During the unveiling of the work, Ms Curtis explained how despite so many efforts being made to reduce waste, Malta and Gozo are still heavily littered. “This is just one more way to reduce more waste and to use what we collect in creative and impactful art. At the same time, this demonstrates how huge the problem actually is, and should encourage people to change their behaviour. The response from so many individuals and groups across Gozo is very reassuring as is the support shown by The Melita Foundation.”
The project kicked off in the summer of 2021 with two voluntary groups performing a number of weekly clean-ups in different localities. A lot of plastic bottles were picked up to produce the artwork, but the volunteers did not limit themselves to collecting plastic bottles. Around 451 sacks of waste, car tyres and other trash, including white goods and dead animals were collected. Local schools also got involved and thanks to its many volunteers, Cast Out has cleaned up Gozo. The waste is being disposed of responsibly by Eco-Gozo.
“Promoting sustainability and raising awareness about environmental issues are very fundamental objectives of The Melita Foundation,” explained Simon Montanaro, Vice-Chairperson of The Melita Foundation. “Plastics have a huge negative impact on the natural environment particularly agriculture and wildlife. Projects such as this one help raise awareness and fortify the message that we share a collective responsibility to change our ways.”
The Melita Foundation was established in February 2020 with an initial donation of €500,000 from Apax Partners, owners of Melita Limited until May 2019. With the full support of EQT, the company’s current owners, all the Foundation’s expenses are being funded entirely by Melita Limited. This means that 100 per cent of the funds available to the Foundation are being used to support projects. Since being established, the foundation has already allocated more than €150,000 to various projects with more than €50,000 going to environmental initiatives.