What's made of plastic, the size of Hawaii, and powered by wind and solar energy? If Dutch architect Ramon Knoester succeeds with his vision, it will be Recycled Island, a sustainable, floating society constructed from a collection of all the Pacific's floating plastic debris.
Koester went public with his ideas for Recycled Island, which would support its own agriculture, a community of inhabitants, and even tourists from its position somewhere between Hawaii and San Francisco, in 2009. His firm, Whim Architecture, is now in the process of designing a prototype of the 10,000-square-kilometer habitat with a grant from the Netherlands Architecture Fund (according to the firm's website).
DNEWS VIDEO: WHAT'S AN OCEAN GARBAGE PATCH?
Still, Koester estimates it will take years once they begin gathering plastic in from the Pacific before they have enough to melt together (using solar power) into the island, as he told CTV News. No one really has any idea how much debris is out there. Though the media tends to refer to the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" as a floating island of sorts, sometimes even saying it is nearly twice the size of the continental United States, other sources disagree. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a thorough article about "De-Mystifying the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch.'"