Recycled Park made from plastic waste retrieved from the river

Plastic litters our environment and harms marine life when it enters the water. In order to reclaim this plastic waste, various organisations in the Netherlands have joined forces. Recycled Park is the proposal to retrieve plastic waste from the river the Nieuwe Maas near Rotterdam in the Netherlands just before it reaches the North Sea and give it a new purpose. From the plastics, floating platforms are made for a new green environment: a floating park.

Plastic waste is a structural problem in open waters. Via rivers, a subsequent part of plastic litter enters our seas and oceans, where it becomes part of the plastic soup. The Nieuwe Maas is an important European river that takes the pollution from the inland to the sea. The plastics in the Nieuwe Maas are relatively fresh and have therefore a good recycling potential.

For the retrieval of the plastic waste from the river, the companies use passive litter traps, called the Plastic visser (‘the Plastic Fisher’). It consists of a floating basin of 6 metres (19.7 feet) wide and 12 metres (39.4 feet) long. It is both a floating separation and shredding installation. A finger sieve separates the large material from the small material, while organic waste is returned to the river. What remains is clean material that they recycle into the building blocks of the floating park.

On top of the blocks, similar to a roof garden, a green environment can be created. The aim is to have a wide variety in plants from moss to trees of a few meters high.

The plastic gains new value as floating capacity for green environments. The building blocks are designed in such a way that not only nature can grow on top, but in the water, new life has a chance to thrive as well. The bottom of the platform has a rough finishing where plants can have enough surface to grow and fish a place to leave their eggs.

Recycled Park is an initiative of WHIM architecture and the Recycled Island Foundation in collaboration with the Rotterdam municipality, Wageningen University (WUR), Better Future Factory, and HEBO Maritiemservice.