RESPONDING to Jo Jones (HAS, May 9), I offer mitigation for our “determination to spread”.

Life is tough for all creatures, but if (as a human) you are fur-less, have rubbish eyesight and endowed with muscles barely sufficient to take on a sabre-tooth cub, it doesn’t get much tougher. I’m speaking prehistorically, but our attitude to our co-habitants is inbuilt, if somewhat reprehensible nowadays.

About 75,000 years ago it’s likely our ancestors were nearly wiped out by the Toba Eruption in Indonesia, and analysis of mitochondrial DNA does suggest a genetic bottleneck about that time. Our “verminous” traits may be an inherited survival mechanism from then.

We have made environmental mistakes, but the internet is our conscience that spans the planet. It can be used for evil, but is generally a good invention.

Jo Jones asserts that the “Pacific plastic island” is “100 feet deep”, though months of painstaking research by The Ocean Cleanup project, led by young Dutchman Boyan Slat, using 30 vessels and a LIDAR equipped aircraft, shows 92 per cent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is large pieces, only a few metres deep. One-half of that mass is fishing nets.

This crowdfunded project is well advanced, and one 600-metre collector boom is under assembly in Alameda, California. A fleet of these have the potential to remove 50 per cent of the GPGP in five years, and the end product is a triumph of lateral thinking.

The Ocean Cleanup project needs cash now – it has mine.

M Watson, Darlington