In her subsequent work, Mandy focused on representing the mass accumulation of plastic in oceans around the world by showing large numbers of individual items as if floating in the sea. The series Where Am I Going, for example, shows remnants of plastic balloons, while Penalty features hundreds of recovered footballs.
"I select the plastic waste items initially by what washes up on the shoreline," she says. "It could be a particular colour, or a group of similar objects that could then go on to raise awareness about problems in a particular area or country."
Many of her images show the all-too-familiar everyday plastic items that litter the world's oceans: children's toys, toothbrushes, combs, flowers, inkjet cartridges, cutlery, pipes and packaging. In one shocking image, she shows the 276 pieces of plastic found in the stomach of a single 90-day-old albatross chick.
Her images are carefully constructed to attract us with their beauty and then surprise us with what they actually show. "I want to pull the viewer in to read the information and find out what's going on," she says. "I did lots of experimentation and I realised this was the style that seemed to capture people's attention and make them think about the issue for longer."
Mandy used the approach of shooting multiple plastic objects in the same frame for her 2020 series Shelf-Life. This body of work resulted from being invited to take part in a scientific research trip to Henderson Island, located 5,000km from the nearest landmass in the southern Pacific Ocean. Over six tonnes of plastic were recovered from the shoreline on just that one trip.