In Rotterdam, a floating park in the Maas River is showing just what can be created from plastic waste. Thanks to the Recycled Island Foundation, plastic collected from the river and port has been transformed into 1,500 square feet of floating habitat that will give back to the ecosystem.
The foundation developed floating litter traps that ensnared the river trash over the course of 1.5 years, which was then sorted and recycled. The recycled plastic was molded into 28 hexagonal blocks that link together to form the Recycled Park. Each hexagon is filled with earth, allowing vegetation to grow. Birds, fish, and microorganisms also benefit from a new food source, as well as new breeding ground and shelter.
“When we retrieve the plastics directly in our cities and ports we actively prevent the further growth of the plastic soup in our seas and oceans,” shares Ramon Knoester, creator of the Foundation. “The realization of the building blocks in recycled plastics is an important step towards a litter free river.”
The opening of Recycled Park is a triumph for the young organization, which spent the last 5 years designing, researching, fundraising, and involving stakeholders in the project. Now, they are continuing on their quest to rid waters of plastic and searching for new locations to expand their concept.