The Great Pacific garbage “patch” is now three times the size of France

Ruben Baart
March 26th 2018

Mon dieu! The swirling pile of trash in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an exponential rate. A recent study has estimated that the mass of the garbage island is four to sixteen times bigger than previously thought, and is now three times the size of France.

From its invention in 1907, plastic and plastic-derived chemicals have worked their way into the rungs of every food chain on Earth. Plastic might be the newest nutrient in the planet’s ecosystems, but so far, nature has yet to find a use for it.

Watch the explainer below and learn more about the exponential growth of this plastic superpower.

 

 

The only sensible way to think of plastic is as a raw Next Nature material, waiting for its balancing counterpart to evolve.

Nature changes along with us, and nature made by people is as wild and unpredictable as the old nature preceding us. Yet, in line with our position as catalysts of evolution, it seems sensible to endeavor to steer towards a balance that is considerate of our own interests and those of our fellow species. Designing plastic eating microbes, if we must.

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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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