The Recycled Island Foundation and the Whim Architecture firm launched the Recycled Park Project in 2014 with the aim of catching plastic waste in Rotterdam’s New Meuse river before it enters the North Sea.

Three floating litter traps with nets attached collect litter in the water while volunteers sweep the riverbank.

The retrieved plastic is converted into hexagonal building blocks that have been used to build a floating island park in the river itself. The park is open to the community and filled with plants and benches, giving people a new green habitat to enjoy in the heart of the city.

A 140 square meter prototype was opened to the public in July 2018. It’s hoped that five more plastic litter traps can be added to the river, creating an island of at least 190 square meters. If successful, similar islands could be built worldwide, with research ongoing in Indonesia.

The River Meuse carries a huge amount of plastic waste, which is exposed after high tide on the river banks. By removing plastic from the river, the more costly and difficult job of removing it from the North Sea is avoided.

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