Mankind’s gift to the seas from which life arose

It’s easy for LEGO builders to focus on the happy, shiny world of little plastic people surrounded by fake plastic trees, but builder Emil Lidé doesn’t shy away from making a powerful statement with his latest LEGO creation. Did you know that every piece of plastic ever produced (yes, including all the ABS that LEGO is made from) will continue to exist indefinitely in the environment? That there is a floating patch of trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean hundreds of thousands of square kilometers in size? Emil uses LEGO as a medium to remind us of the impact that our modern lives have on the planet we live on.

Garbage in Paradise (5 of 5)

As much as I love the message that Emil’s creation conveys, it’s also an excellent LEGO build on its own merits. The tranquil beach scene above the water contrasts harshly with the waste beneath the waves, from the usual tires and barrels to bicycles and even a washing machine.

1 comment on “Mankind’s gift to the seas from which life arose

  1. Purple Dave

    All plastic does break down. Some is actually biodegradable, and very little is fully UV resistant. It does often just consist of the polymer chain shortening down to individual molecules, but Wall-E has almost zero chance of happening.

    The so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch (not to be confused with similar patches in the South Pacific, North and South Atlantic, and Indian Oceans) isn’t a floating island of garbage like what you see at the city dump. It’s largely just tiny particles of plastic that are spread out so thin that you can’t see them from satellite photography, the deck of a boat, or through a scuba mask. The NOAA and other leading experts really don’t like the GPGP term because it creates false expectations that make it harder to actually do anything about it (after all, you can’t really _see_ anything, so anyone looking for piles of garbage floating in the ocean is going to report seeing nothing).

    On the other end of the spectrum, New York’s Metro Transit Authority has had great success with stripping down decommissioned subway cars and sinking them in the ocean. Within a shockingly short amount of time they sprout thriving coral reefs full of a wide array of marine life in what had previously been a barren patch of ocean floor.

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