A group of architects from the Netherlands have a crazy idea to take all the plastic floating out there in the Pacific Ocean, and recycle it into a floating island the size of Hawaii. Climate refugees would be able to move there and live in recycled plastic homes, and work on farms or grow seaweed. The entire island would be totally self-sufficient once built, producing its own food and energy, and managing waste. While totally off the wall, this is an intriguing concept that gets our imaginations in motion about what we can do with that ginormous mass of plastic floating around in the ocean!
There are millions of pounds of plastic swirling out in the ocean and the best way to take care of it would be to collect it all and recycle it. Whim Architecture, from the Netherlands, is proposing to do just that with their Recycled Island – collect the plastic, sort it and then recycle it into building blocks to create a whole new floating island as big as Hawaii (approximately 10,000 sq km) depending on how much plastic could be collected. As the climate changes, many people, especially island nations like the Maldives, will be forced from their homes, becoming refugees. The new island, located somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii would be made available to those refugees.
The island would be totally self-sufficient, capable of producing its own food, managing waste and producing renewable energy. One section of the island would be for urban housing, built from recycled plastic, and would also include all the necessary amenities for recreation, commerce, and living. Beaches would be located near the houses for people to relax, enjoy and recreate.
The rest of the island would be available to grow food, and seaweed would be grown right offshore. Seaweed could be used for food, biofuel, fertilizer, medicine, and CO2 absorption. Human waste and other organic matter would be composted and used as fertilizer for crops. Renewable energy would be harvested from solar, wave and wind power.
Recycled Island is still completely in conceptual stages, and the designers are currently seeking assistance and other knowledgeable experts in the fields of chemistry, oceanographers and engineers. The concept is a bit out there, but some day it may have its place. What do you think, should we turn the world’s floating plastic into self-sufficient islands?