Portuguese photographer Eduardo Leal's series "Plastic Trees" is actually composed of little bushes, photographed from low angles to make them appear larger. "Turning little bushes into big trees was to show the size of the problem," the artist told CNN. Leal is a 2015 winner of LensCulture magazine's Earth Awards, which focuses on photography that documents the harmful effects of human activity on the natural environment.
Leal's stark images of plastic pollution clinging to bare branches at sunset are inadvertently beautiful. But the artist, in his statement, says he intended "Plastic Trees" to raise awareness of the fact the world consumes 1 million plastic bags every minute.
"The work focuses on the spread of plastic bags on the Bolivian Altiplano, where millions of bags travel with the wind until they get entangled in native bushes, marring the beautiful landscape. Sadly, these images don't portray an isolated case—this phenomenon can be seen in many countries all over the world."
View Leal's series "Plastic Trees" on LensCulture.