The Great Pacific Garbage Patch comprises three massive, floating marine debris “islands” within a circular ocean current, or gyre - stark reminders of the major environmental pollutant that plastic has become. Fortunately, scientists and engineers are developing novel alternatives for tasks currently filled by petrochemicals. Two alternative packaging materials that especially intrigue me are the mycelium of fungus like mushrooms and spider silk.
What will define the beginning of the Anthropocene—the proposed subdivision of geologic time marking the onset of significant human impact on our planet’s geology and ecosystems? One possibility is a new material that scientists have named "plastiglomerate".