msb ~045 Future forest, plastic tide

Future forest, plastic tide

Future forest?

So far, I’ve only managed to watch 30 minutes of the BBC’s excellent Drowning in Plastic: impossible to stomach the full hour-and-a-half at once. Footage of shearwaters dying from the plastics their parents unwittingly fed them is, appropriately, gut-wrenching: the animals as oblivious to their plight as we are to our hour-by-hour petrochemical churn that creates it. So – like the other recent BBC 90 minutes on landfill – I’ll be taking this in chunks. But the first viewing leaves me wondering how to respond to another plastics piece today, on a colourful ‘future forest’ made entirely from three tons of recycled plastic waste…

‘Future Forest’ is a small arts-ecosystem in Mexico City, complete with lake, caves, trees, waterfall, “plenty of plastic flowers” and “a lot of plastic animals hidden within the forest, too: foxes, rats, caterpillars, chameleons, vultures, deer, turtles, even a panda,” all made with waste from the local dump. It’s a great artistic-activist intervention, surfacing all this out-of-sight-out-of-mind junk and creating beauty from it. But I’m hoping the irony of its title doesn’t go unnoticed, and actions like this will wake us to the risk that soon our only ‘nature’ might be unwild and choked: plastic forests, plastic oceans.

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