How to Stop Humans From Filling the World With Trash with Mitchell Joachim Terreform ONE
The Atlantic, Alana Semuels, July/August 2015 Issue
"How to Stop Humans From Filling the World With Trash"
From the article: Skyscrapers Made of Garbage
We already turn water bottles into fleece, plastic bags into deck material, roofing into pavement. But ideas abound for more-futuristic forms of recycling. Mitchell Joachim, a co-founder of Terreform ONE, a design firm based in New York, proposes crushing trash and molding it into Tetris‑esque blocks that we could use to build islands and skyscrapers. Joachim’s firm has created architectural plans for a 53-story tower made with the waste New Yorkers produce in 24 hours. A group in Guatemala called Pura Vida is already working on a low-tech version of the same idea; it promotes the use of a building material it calls an “eco-block”—just a plastic bottle stuffed with trash—that it says makes for excellent insulation and is safe in earthquakes.
Joachim, of Terreform ONE, says the planned obsolescence of products should be outlawed. So-called extended-producer-responsibility laws could require manufacturers to fund and manage the recycling of their goods so that the private sector, rather than the public, is responsible for products at the end of their life, giving companies an incentive to make their products last longer. The beginning of the cycle, not the end, might be when we can most effectively eliminate trash.