This Artist Recreated An Entire Grocery Store Using NYC’s Excess Plastic Bags

Down to the last tomato!

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

This Artist Recreated An Entire Grocery Store Using NYC’s Excess Plastic Bags

NYC’s plastic bag ban is going into effect on March 1, but there will still be thousands of them in Times Square…just reimagined as something else entirely.

To coincide with the ban that was finally passed in the city last year, a public art installation called “The Plastic Bag Store” by Brooklyn-based artist and puppeteer Robin Frohardt will be on view at 20 Times Square from Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, April 12.

Photo by Maria Baranova-Suzuki

In it, Frohardt has recreated a typical NYC bodega/grocery store full of food products, but made every single one of them using thousands of upcycled plastic bags from around the city. From pints of ice cream to rotisserie chickens to cleaning supplies to even sushi and chocolate cake, it is full of everything you would normally pick up on your way home.

Photo by Robin Frohardt

While you can pop in for a quick look at the display throughout the day, at nighttime it transforms into a darkly comedic puppet show, also written by Frohardt, that “explores how the overabundance of plastic waste we leave behind might be misinterpreted by future generations,” according to a press release.

Photo by Robin Frohardt

“It is my attempt to make something authentic and human from that which is mass-produced,” Frohardt said. “There is great humor to be found in the pitfalls of capitalism and I find that humor and satire can be powerful tools for social criticism especially with issues that feel too sad and overwhelming to confront directly.”

It will be free and open to the public Tuesday-Sunday from 11am-6pm, with nightly performances at 7pm and 9pm (starting March 18).

featured image source: Maria Baranova-Suzuki