What is the Garbage Patch?
The Garbage Patch is one of our planet’s most serious – and most overlooked – environmental problems, caused by plastic waste being abandoned by humans and ending up in the ocean.
Why is this phenomenon less known than it should be?
The reason why this huge environmental problem is so often neglected is that its visible part is far smaller than its invisible one.
Why can it not be seen?
As an effect of photodegradation caused by sunlight, plastic debris are broken down into smaller and smaller fragments which, however present, are hard to detect.
What are the damages to the ecosystem?
Sea creatures may die by ingesting the plastic or by getting trapped among the debris. The Garbage Patch contains plastic fragments of all sizes, even microscopic ones.
Can it be removed?
There currently is no solution to this environmental disaster, as it would be impossible to remove the plastic without also removing the sea organisms, causing even greater damage to the ecosystem.
Who is to blame?
Behind every single fragment composing the Garbage Patch, there is a person who abandoned it in the environment.
Most of the debris dispersed in the sea come from disposable objects that were used once, then abandoned. We throw them away, but where is away? That’s where the Garbage Patch is – “the away state”.
What can we do about it?
States can do much in terms of legislation but also of action, as can be seen from those coastal areas that have been the object of expensive clean-up operations.
My intention is not to demonise plastic, as the idea of doing without it would be utopian. However, we must all act responsibly and change our habits.
Why an embassy?
The embassy was set up to deal with the thousands of applications for citizenship received from all over the world.
However, the Garbage Patch State is not inhabited by humans, but by around 3 million tons of plastic objects that were used, thrown away, then transfigured beyond recognition by sunlight. The Garbage Patch State and its citizens, disfigured and deprived of their dignity, could be compared to a leper colony, a place for relegating the outcasts that no one wants to see.
How does an object feel when it is destroyed?
The objects that inhabit the Garbage Patch State feel they are an unwitting tool of extermination of sea animals and the ecosystem. They hope that their brothers that are still on dry land will not end up like them, but that they will be re-used, recycled, and ultimately produce new energy – without ever being thrown into the environment.
This is why the inhabitants of the Garbage Patch State suggest that future citizens virtually adopt one of their brothers to save it from ending up in the Garbage Patch State.