life in plastic

July 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

Naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about oil, and about oil products.  Plastic.  It fits in with the heirloom design thing I blogged about a while back…most of the cheap plastic things we buy are not made to last very long at all, but they sure stick around long time.

Recently, I discovered Chris Jordan’s photos of the North Pacific Gyre, and immense garbage patch floating in the Pacific Ocean. The trash there is almost entirely plastic, plastic bags, ballpoint pens, caps from old water bottles, disposable lighters, packaging, etc.  These long-discarded remnants of our lives float for months and years in the ocean, wash up on shore, and are mistakenly eaten by wildlife such as albatrosses who eventually suffocate from the mass of plastic they ingest over time.

This work provides a compelling illustration of the need to replace plastic with other materials that will decompose quickly, and the need to change the way we all consume.  Basically, everything we buy should belong to one of two categories: heirloom purchases that are made to last (a long time), and disposable ones that biodegrade quickly.


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