This is a Floating Park in Rotterdam, a city in The Netherlands, that is made up of constructed hexagon-shaped building blocks made from recycled plastics. These green structures are created from plastic waste that is collected from organized cleanups with Clear Rivers as well as litter traps, which are installed in the Port of Rotterdam, the Port of Brussels and the Indonesian island Ambon.
The objective is to retrieve plastic marine waste in rivers before it reaches the seas and oceans. The collected plastics are then melted and molded into the floating hexagon pods, which then transform into a habitat for wildlife and gardens. This impactful green initiative in urban areas is spearheaded by the Recycle Island Foundation, a non-profit that helps fight plastic pollution.
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Within the crevasses, on top and below of the floating park there is a thriving ecosystem where vegetation, including various species of plants and moss, grow and where wildlife calls it their home. The rough finish on the bottom of the hexagon pods makes for a great environment to stimulate growth. A small canal, about a half meter deep, runs through these eco-friendly hexagon pods where an array of birds, fish and micro-organism find food, breeding ground and shelter.
The Floating Park, which is located in the Rijnhaven, Tillemakade 99, is made up of 28 hexagon building blocks that are 5 square meters each – and thus make up a total of 140 square meters for the entire park. These green building blocks can also expand as more blocks are connected. Open to the public, the Floating Park also serves the community as a peaceful respite to read or to socialize with friends while getting some fresh air. It also has little connecting bridges that add a quaint aesthetic to the floating park as well.
By involving the local community and organizations, the Recycled Island Foundation hopes to create circular products and educate people while stimulating biodiversity in harbors. Experts reportedly estimate that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste in the world’s oceans and scientists predict that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish.