I popped in to the ONCA Gallery on St. George Place this afternoon. ONCA stands for One Network for Conservation and the Arts and they have an exhibition on which highlights the damage that plastic is doing to our environment. Works by Steve McPherson are made up of small pieces of plastic collected from British beaches. On one work Mr. McPherson lists the probable provenance of each item and the wide diversity emphasises just how dependent our society is on this substance. Other exhibits highlight the dangers that small plastics objects pose to sea birds and downstairs a short film discussed Charles Darwin‘s expedition aboard The Beagle. Darwin catalogued numerous flora and fauna which led him to wonder about the power of Natural Selection – survival of the fittest. The film went on to describe the vast Trash Vortex which is collecting in the Pacific Ocean and may be three times the size of the UK. The film asked: what type of life would be fittest to survive in a world choked with plastic?
It seems incredible that, as a race, we were able to ban CFCs for the damage that they do to the upper atmosphere yet our society continues to churn out plastics which damages what might be termed the “aqua-sphere”. Surely by now we could devise plastics which break down over time or after contact with saltwater?