Microplastics and nanoplastics are emerging concerns of global proportions, polluting water and land by devastatingly impacting marine life as well as agriculture. Estimates suggest that between 110 000 and 730 000 ton of microplastics are transferred to agricultural soils per year in Europe and North America. Data from Nordic countries states that most of all the microplastic waste in Western societies ends up in the sludge in wastewater treatment plants, polluting soil and disrupting agroecosystem.
Sequence 3. “Wrapturous”
The deadly fires in summer of 2018 in Greece and the extreme wildfires in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe were a strong reminder that global warming is affecting us in the parts of the world where we usually do not see our ecological footprint. The latest report by UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) strengthens the previous warning that the time margins for keeping the global temperature from rising above 1.5 °C is rapidly shrinking. Beyond this increase point, even half a degree will worsen the effects and ferocity of wildfires, rising sea levels, water scarcity, extinction of species, extreme weather and it will cause further environmental displacement and migration.
Sequence 2. “Airborn”
In May 2018 the EU commission completely banned the outdoor use of several neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are pesticides used in plant protection products to control insects harming crops and flowers. These pesticides are taken up by the plant and transported throughout its whole system, its leaves, flowers, roots and stems, as well as pollen and nectar. This means that the neonicotinoids are transferred to pollinating insects. Among other things they affect the central nervous system of insects, leading to eventual paralysis and death. Neonicotinoids are one of the factors behind the major insect extinction observed in the past years. Studies from the UK show that even seeds and flowers labelled as “bee-friendly” in major garden centres contain high levels of these harmful pesticides.
Sequence 1. “BuzzLess”
Zadissa, Elmira & Zadissa, Ramona, 2018, mixed material.