Garbage is a universal problem, more so in developed and developing countries due to their extensive use of plastic, junk food and their packaging. In the U.S., the average American produces more than 4 pounds of garbage per day, and that is 50 percent more than the amount produced by Western Europeans. To put that into perspective, California photographer Gregg Segal created a series called “7 Days of Garbage” that shows his friends, neighbors, and strangers from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds lying in the trash they created in one week.
Some of Segal’s subjects volunteered to be a part of the project because they believed in the idea behind it. Others were compensated for participating. While the photo shoot was true, for most part, some shoots were edited to leave out the more foul stuff because some people didn’t like to bring their really foul garbage into the shoot. Others had no problem lying down with some nasty things.
Segal will continue to work on his series, and he intends to shoot his subjects in a greater variety of constructed natural settings to enforce the idea that garbage is everywhere and that no environment is left untouched by it.
Segal hopes that the series will help people realize that a lot of the garbage they produce is unnecessary. But it’s not necessarily their fault. We’re just cogs in a machine and you’re not culpable really but at the same time you are because you’re not doing anything, you’re not making any effort. There are some little steps you can take to lessen the amount of waste you produce,” the artist told Slate.
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