Coal is the biggest source of China’s air pollution, but straw burning is also an issue of major concern. Although straw burning is banned, many farmers continue the age-old tradition to turn leftover straw into ash fertilizer. Crop burning also helps farmers save on labor costs and is considered an efficient way to ride farmlands of leftover stalks, which are seen as waste material. The practice is most prevalent in the China North Plain, and winds carry the smoke to nearby regions.
Related: Gigantic straw dinosaurs take over Japanese fields
In an effort to urge farmers to stop straw burning and raise awareness of straw’s alternative uses, artists used straw to construct three huge crabs in Chongming’s rice fields. Aerial shots reveal the immense size of each crab in comparison to passing cars on the adjacent road. According to CCTV, the artists are also encouraging people to recycle the straw (through non-burning means) as fertilizer, animal feed, and art. The crabs are located at Lvhuazhen on Chongming Island.
Images via CCTV