Islands of plastic waste can be found in our oceans around the world. The largest, the Pacific Garbage Patch, is a collection of floating plastic, debris and waste that spans twice the size of Texas. In the patch, the plastic is broken down, finally into small pellets, called nurdles. The team found these tiny pieces to be perfect components to create 3D printed plastic chairs.
The fishing trawler of the device sifts plastic nurdles from the polluted waters and from beaches, which are often neglected during beach cleanups because they are so small. Since the nurdles are really broken down pieces of a bigger garbage patch, they are packed with harmful chemicals that they’ve absorbed over time, amplified from spending considerable amounts of time in the sun. As they pass through the water, they pass along the chemicals to the marine life they encounter.
The bounty from each area is separated using the team designed Nurdler, which works thanks to a hand powered water pump. The collected waste can then be recycled directly into plastic chairs– varying per area in which they were “harvested.”
If funded, the Sea Chair project would employ a floating factory ship, that harvests the marine waste, and recycles it on board into “sustainably sourced” chairs. The chairs would then be sold to help the communities in which they were created.
To vote for Sea Chair, visit the Victorinox Time To Care Award Site here.