Monday, November 26th, 2012

A Livable Sustainable Floating Island of Recycled Marine Plastic

This blog has featured several plastics-related projectswe’ve seen on Kickstarter, which if you don’t remember is an online funding platform for creative projects, a place where the ambitious and innovative can find the financing they need to make their idea real.

Recycled Island’s single-family house is made of recycled ocean plastic and has a solar roof.

Kickstarter is currently hosting a proposal from WHIM architecture of Rotterdam, The Netherlands that describes “Recycled Island,” an idea for building a floating habitat that could literally ride out rising sea levels. In addition, it would be self-sufficient and sustainable, and also would directly address the issue of marine litter by using recycled plastic retrieved from the North Pacific Gyre as its main building material.

The first step would use plastic marine litter deposited on beaches to make hollow building blocks that will be the main construction element of Recycled Island. WHIM is working with a number of partners, for example the New York-based CODA studio for architectural and urban research and design

expertise on challenges such as being sure the island is seaworthy, and exactly how to recycle the marine litter.

The Kickstarter proposal was launched on November 13th and will close on December 13. Any amount can be pledged to reach the goal of $70,000. With 16 days to go, $536 has been pledged from 21 backers. If funded, the prototype will show the potential for recycling marine plastic, flood-proof living, and that you

can live sustainably in self-sufficient housing. You can evaluate the proposal here.

The Eco Art Island in Isla Mujeres, Mexico floats on used plastic bottles.

Kickstarter raised more than the $9,000 goal of a similar project in 2011, and it is currently functional and floating in a lagoon on Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Eco Art Island is built on a base of used plastic bottles held together with nets. The platform for the structure is built over the bottles using pallets and blocks UV rays that could attack the bottles. Corals and marine life grow on the underside; fruit and mangroves grow topside.

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