When it comes to mysterious islands in the Pacific Ocean, anything’s possible. Just ask Ricardo Montalbán and the castaways of “LOST.” Perhaps it’s that brand of fantastical thinking that led Netherlands-based architectural firm WHIM to devise Recycled Island, a floating man-made island constructed of plastic recycled from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I’ll give you a moment to wrap your head around that.
The idea, in a clam shell, is to turn a nuisance into a resource. Plastic from the Patch would be collected, sorted and recycled, on site, into the building blocks of a synthetic, seaworthy landmass and the structures atop it. Based on the 4 million tons of available material, WHIM estimates that Recycled Island could ultimately reach the size of Hawaii’s main island (roughly 10,000 square kilometers).
WHIM envisions Recycled Island, still only a research project in its earliest stages, as entirely sustainable and self-sufficient. Farmed seaweed and the composted excretions of the island’s settlers would produce soil to grow crops. Electricity would be generated through solar, wave and wind power. And the island could provide refuge for those displaced by global climate change.
All they need now is a way to clone Hervé Villechaize.