The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Our Contribution To The Fossil Record

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The Dish

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Mother Earth has turned our plastic trash into a new type of stone:

Most plastic in the ocean disintegrates into small pieces (which don’t go away, either), but some of it melts into “molten” plastic, and it fuses with all the regular, organic materials below it, forming a super-hard monolithic stone. It was first observed in Hawaii in 2006 by an oceanographer, but geologists didn’t collect the stones until 2012. According to the new study, even though most of the plastic is molten, you can often still identify specific objects within the stone, including “netting/ropes, pellets, partial containers/packaging, lids, tubes/pipes, and ‘confetti.'”

Unsurprisingly, these superhard “plastiglomerate” stones are sticking around:

The resulting materials, researchers report in the journal GSA Today, will probably be long-lived and could even become permanent markers in the planet’s geologic record. “Most conventional plastic is relatively thin and fragments quickly,” said Richard Thompson, a marine biologist…

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Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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