A small caterpillar has adapted to its environment with its skills and available resources, in this case, plastic waste. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic. And this comes with severe environmental consequences. We need to slow down the flow of plastic at its source, but we also need to improve the way we manage our plastic waste because right now, almost every bit of plastic that is produced ends up in the environment.
Bagworm moth larvae construct cases with natural material, using twigs, leaves, exoskeletons of other invertebrates, etc. I spotted this particular bagworm larva in a small green patch near my house. I was thrilled when I saw the shade of blue, but upon closer inspection, I realised it was mostly plastic and some bits of exoskeleton of other invertebrates. I later took my son along and together we photographed the bagworm. With my help, he wrote a story on how harmful plastic can be when not disposed of properly, which was published in his school magazine.
The photograph won a Jury Selection prize at the Nature in Focus Photography Awards 2022 and a Certificate of Merit at the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2022.