This is the waste of one operation, my operation ……
In this film you see me, Maria Koijck, lay in the middle of an incredible amount of waste from just one surgery, my surgery.
In August 2019 I got diagnosed with breast cancer. They had to remove my entire left breast. After a successful recovery, I recently got a deep lap surgery where they gave me an entire new breast of my own bodily materials.
I am so grateful for their craftsmanship and the chance to feel beautiful again, but during this proces I discovered that 60% of the surgery materials used for this operation is disposable.
For example: the stainless steal scissors that are flown in from Japan, are used for one cut before they end up in the bin.
I asked the doctors to collect all of the surgery materials used for my operation, to get a clear idea of how much it really was. I was in shock when I saw 6 bags full of plastic waste. I am incredibly grateful for my recovery but I am also in disbelief when I see the waste that’s been used for just one operation, my operation.
As an artist I’ve spend years on shedding light on the current situation considering plastic waste. It raises a question:
Humans always seek to ‘get better’, but what is the cost to our environment?
Look at me!
If you have cataracts, you can get a new lens, so you can see clearly again. This is a relatively small but very ingenious procedure, which almost everyone who is allowed to grow older has to deal with. Maria Koijck shows in this video the waste from 40 cataract operations. In addition to other eye operations, that is the average weekly number of the OMC Hanzekliniek in Groningen. Almost everything that is used during this procedure is disposable, each time 2 surgical gowns are used, 3 blankets, 2 fiber mats, 3 hats and much, much more used. Just in Holland an average of 4000 new lenses are placed… every week. That is 100 times as much waste per week as on this video!
My First Little Footprint
This is Fé she was born on January 6, 2022 in the hospital. Her mother was admitted mid-term due to non-progressive dilation, she received an epidural in hospital and gave birth to a healthy daughter in the morning. On average, a child is born every second worldwide!
This video shows the waste from an uncomplicated hospital birth, more than three garbage bags full. Of course, hygienic work has to be done, but the question arises; Is there another way ??