"Why isn't this cup recyclable?", Photo prints, 2018. 

Photos shot between 6:13am and 6:31am on 8 October 2018, Downtown San Diego.
I found this brightly colored run-over cup in the middle of a road. It made me wonder how something so noticeable could be discarded so easily.

The cup itself is meant to be used once and then thrown away. But once it is created, it becomes a part of the environment around it. Even when it is thrown away, it’s still part of this earth.

I brought the smushed cup to downtown San Diego on an early weekday morning, expecting to visually capture a bright piece of trash, standing out in an environment it doesn’t belong.
That’s not exactly what emerged from the photos.

The cup became more than a piece of trash; it became a representation of the culture that now surrounded it. “Drop in, have fun, eat well,” it said, echoing the values of San Diego, California.

The cup became a part of the San Diego environment, remaining constant amongst a changing, sometimes unknown, setting. And yet, the cup will most likely end up trashed, having no more value in our society, which really begs the question, “Why isn’t this cup recyclable?”

All photos taken and edited by Chris Ramirez. Cup from Wahoo's.
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