photo from whim.nl

It sounds like a complete fantasy and it probably is, but a group of Dutch environmental designers at WHIM Architecture want to turn the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into an eco friendly island paradise.

But then again, a lot of great ideas start off as fantasies.

The plan, dubbed ‘Recycled Island’, would simultaneously clean up the plastic from the Garbage Patch and create a livable, sustainable island space. With a hundred million tons of plastic floating in the Patch – most of it broken down into microscopic beads, which in turn absorb toxins and enter the food chain through being eaten by marine life – that’s plenty of building material.

From an article in the Observer:

Recycled Island is a plan to clean up 44 million kilos of plastic waste from the North Pacific Gyre, which stretches from California to Japan, and provide 10,000 square kilometres (3,861 square miles) of sustainable living space in the process. Solar and wave energy would provide power for islanders while sustainable fishing and agriculture could provide their food.

How do you collect all those tiny plastic beads and make a sustainable island? Well that is one of the devilish details in the architects’ ambitious plan.

From a Discovery News article:

Once collected the plastic is to be separated, melted down, and then used as building stock to create a floating island the size of the island of Hawaii. That’s 10,000 square kilometers, or 3,861 square miles of plastic. All the processing can take place at sea, within the gyre, the WHIM folks write. Sand, compost, solar panels, undersea turbines will be brought in to create a self-sufficient, plastic utopia.

Like I said, pretty ambitious.

Check out the Recycled Island website for more.