Date – 2409
Place – Stranraer, Scotland
This object, a simple spoon manufactured from plastic, illuminates both the effect of plastic on the food chain and the logical legal endpoint of the ‘Polluter Pays’ socio-legal stratagem of the late 21st century.
As environmental change accelerated through the late 21st century, sea level rise and increasingly fierce ocean storms continued to break down ocean plastic pollution into particles small enough to contaminate the human food chain.
The extent of the contamination inevitably came to be reflected in the price and availability of food: DCF (Definitely Contaminated Food) was the cheapest and fed those on the lowest incomes, around 80% of the global population. PCF (Probably Contaminated Food) was filtered at source to remove some micro-plastics, feeding around 19% of people. LCF (Low Contaminated Food), a ‘luxury’ range only affordable by the richest 1%, was grown in tightly controlled conditions, typically indoors in hermetically sealed environments.
The rising number of serious health issues linked to DCF finally led to action in the International Courts.
It is believed that the exhibit was discovered near Stranraer in 2200. Its provenance (made for the Disney Corporation in China) was so compelling that it became crucial evidence in the class action brought by the Client Earth legal team on behalf of ‘The People of the World’ against those responsible for the initial pollution. The landmark ruling by the International Court of Environmental Justice in Malé meant that corporations finally became financially responsible for the PET [Polymer Eradication Target which began in 2209 and continues to this day.