Plastivore – A Bird that Feeds on Plastic

Van Mensvoort
April 14th 2015

Imagine humankind would magically disappear from the planet today. We would leave the ruins of cities, roads, cars and... plastics. Since its invention in 1907, plastic steadily worked its way into the geology of Earth. As plastics hardly break down they could survive humankind.

Artist Britt Duppen envisions that, in due time, new species might evolve that could feed on plastic. Her speculative 'Plastivore' bird (Latin for ‘plastic eater’, plasticio meaning ‘plastic’ or ‘food that contains particles of plastic’ and vorare meaning ‘to devour’) thrives on a diet of fungi and plastics.

The vision of Plastivore is hardly feasible, as birds would radically need to alter their metabolism to digests plastics, or evolve the species like plastic eating microbes. After all, oil also lay in the crust of Earth as the waste of prehistoric plants, until humankind came along to treat it as a resource.

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What is your view on the coronavirus?


Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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