For many years now, scientists and environmentalists have been very concerned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a 500-mile area of toxic plastic waste that extends from California to the Sea of Japan. Now, some enterprising architects from Rotterdam have come up with an innovative idea - Constructing an island, the size of Hawaii, built entirely from the plastic waste.
Inspired by David de Rothschild's, Plastiki, which is made entirely from plastic bottles, the architects say that their idea will not only help clean up the waste and create a brand new sustainable piece of land for people to live on, but also, inspire other people to recycle plastic in creative ways
The architects envision building Recycled Island around North-East of Hawaii, in order to be close to the 'raw' material. The plastic waste will first be recycled into floating devices to form the foundation. Once the foundation is laid, seaweed cultivation and compost toilets will be used to create fertile ground. Solar and wave energy will be used to power the 'green' island. A separate area created alongside, will be reserved for agriculture so that the island of 500,000 residents can be self-sustaining.
However, before you start packing your bags to live on this magical tropical land, there are some challenges that need to be surpassed before it is a reality. First and most important, is the challenge of hauling the plastic debris from the bottom of the ocean. Even if possible, the cost of doing so, is likely to be prohibitive.
And then of course there are all the other challenges to see if the plastic will really be a strong enough foundation, etc etc. And then, the biggest question of all - If they build it, will people come?
So, while Recycled Island may never be built, just the idea may inspire people to think up of other, smaller projects, that helps clean our oceans one plastic bottle at a time! To read more go to www.recycledisland.com.