Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Island builders want to save the ocean but ask: how to sieve out the micro-plastics?


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 Eclipse Now

Eclipse Now

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 826 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 06:37 AM

The oceanic gyres of floating micro-plastic have been taking their toll on the oceanic food chain.

Now a solution comes out of left-of-field: use it to build an island. Start off with a few super-tankers collecting the plastic and refining it down to new plastic pontoons, and make a plastic island as the foundations for a whole new ecosystem!

More here.
Posted Image

They are architects thinking outside the box to solve this problem. However, they need a hand.

To continue our research we are looking for a large (container full) sample of the plastic waste from the Ocean. We are specifically interested in the plastic parts, that have been in the Ocean for years and are broken down into smaller pieces by the salt water and photodegredation.

We are also looking for ideas on how to collect the plastic from the Ocean without harming marine life.

If you have any tips please contact us.

To continue our research we are looking for a large (container full) sample

of the plastic waste from the Ocean. We are specifically interested in the plastic parts, that have been in the Ocean for years and are broken down into smaller pieces by the salt water and photodegredation.

We are also looking for ideas on how to collect the plastic from the Ocean without harming marine life.

If you have any tips please contact us.

To continue our research we are looking for a large (container full) sample

of the plastic waste from the Ocean. We are specifically interested in the plastic parts, that have been in the Ocean for years and are broken down into smaller pieces by the salt water and photodegredation.

We are also looking for ideas on how to collect the plastic from the Ocean without harming marine life.

If you have any tips please contact us.


http://www.recycledisland.com/

#2 Knothead

Knothead

    Thinking

  • Members
  • 142 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 08:04 AM

Pretty cool idea.
Though I have to wonder how well huge islands made of recycled, lightweight plastic would hold up in the face of a violent storm. I have seen the sea tear up some pretty strong stuff.

#3 Eclipse Now

Eclipse Now

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 826 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:00 PM

Wouldn't they take that lightweight micro-plastic and manufacture a much more industrial strength base? Surely they're getting the best naval and marine advice for this concept. I've heard that standing on deep sea oil rigs (that are just so popular right now :ideamaybenot:) feels as solid as an island.

Usually the main bugbear behind all of these schemes is cost and economics. But as they say, "Invest in land: they aren't making any more of it!" could prove all the economic incentive some billionaire needs to start this thing off.

Which leads to an interesting political and sociological question. Will this more 'temporary' structure that needs to respond to the weather and location of ocean debris ever become a nation-state? Or will it be more of a Corporate-stan, owned and run by a giant corporation under corporate rule? Would they try to form their own nation-state like the silly Sealand 'principality'?

(I almost pity these silly buffoons, imagine being stuck on this ugly pile of concrete?)
Posted Image

#4 Turtle

Turtle

    Member

  • Members
  • 14,866 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:25 PM

The oceanic gyres of floating micro-plastic have been taking their toll on the oceanic food chain.

Now a solution comes out of left-of-field: use it to build an island. Start off with a few super-tankers collecting the plastic and refining it down to new plastic pontoons, and make a plastic island as the foundations for a whole new ecosystem!

More here.
Posted Image

They are architects thinking outside the box to solve this problem. However, they need a hand.


Introduction


kewl idea!! :ideamaybenot: i have journeyed to this fantasy island :cap: a time or two & thought maybe a good starting point would be an aircraft carrier. :idea:

anyway, sieving out the plastic will take, well, sieves. :turtle: make them out of plastic of course. park in the gyre & sieve away. gardens, nuclear power, solar power, wind power, wave power, homes, businesses, ports....home. anchor when it's the thing to do, voyage when it is knot. we turtles love the sea. :sherlock:

#5 Eclipse Now

Eclipse Now

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 826 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:36 PM

kewl idea!! :ideamaybenot: i have journeyed to this fantasy island :cap: a time or two & thought maybe a good starting point would be an aircraft carrier. :idea:

anyway, sieving out the plastic will take, well, sieves. :turtle: make them out of plastic of course. park in the gyre & sieve away. gardens, nuclear power, solar power, wind power, wave power, homes, businesses, ports....home. anchor when it's the thing to do, voyage when it is knot. we turtles love the sea. :sherlock:


I love the enthusiasm. But aren't nuclear powered vessels currently the province of the military only for economic reasons? They're expensive suckers to build. Otherwise, wouldn't we have a whole fleet of commercial vehicles running on E=Mc2?
Posted Image

The sieve problem is that they want a way to sieve the plastic and not the plankton, the rubbish and not the rainbow-trout, the mess and not the marine life. They want to clean up the ocean without cleaning out the ocean.

Any ideas?

#6 Turtle

Turtle

    Member

  • Members
  • 14,866 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:51 PM

I love the enthusiasm. But aren't nuclear powered vessels currently the province of the military only for economic reasons? They're expensive suckers to build. Otherwise, wouldn't we have a whole fleet of commercial vehicles running on E=Mc2?
...

The sieve problem is that they want a way to sieve the plastic and not the plankton, the rubbish and not the rainbow-trout, the mess and not the marine life. They want to clean up the ocean without cleaning out the ocean.

Any ideas?


i don't know if private individuals can own a nuclear powered craft or not. :turtle: even if not, a decommissioned carrier then. if we have to build the island from scaratch then so be it. i think it ought to be mobile when convenient though. :sherlock: i think having an underwater counter-balance that is accessible/habitable is suggestable. like a dumbell, one big sphere (or whatever shape) above the surface, one below. along the lines of getting the stability found in SWATH craft. >> Small waterplane area twin hull - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

the carrier would just be a start point.

as to the other stuff caught in sieves, well, let it go, eat it, breed it, turn it into biofuel, or turn it into fertilizer. we know what is happening to the life as it is so it seems we can hardly do worse. :idea:

you make money by renting research space, docking facilities, fueling facilities, tourist destination, rescue base, etc. :ideamaybenot:

#7 Eclipse Now

Eclipse Now

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 826 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 11:04 PM

as to the other stuff caught in sieves, well, let it go, eat it, breed it, turn it into biofuel, or turn it into fertilizer. we know what is happening to the life as it is so it seems we can hardly do worse. :sherlock:

You know, I'm not that averse to this idea! Bottom-trawling is far more destructive than middle-level ocean trawling. As far as I know, this is focussing on the top few meters of ocean.

Could the trawler net be in 2 stages? A larger grate collects the bigger pieces of plastic while warding off the larger fish. (Does it have to move at a certain lower speed to stop larger fish getting trapped in it)? Then the secondary mesh sieves the micro-plastic and plankton from the ocean.

Now either there is an economic way to separate out the plankton from the plastic and use it as fertiliser, or there isn't. If it is not worth separating out, because there is 6 times more micro-plastic out there than there is plankton, then why bother? It's just more hydrocarbons for manufacturing the island.

I'm hoping that their sea-farms of seaweed etc will generate more ocean life to compensate for some of the plankton loss. But the main thing will be protecting the ocean from the wider implications of the chemical pollution of the micro-plastic rising up through the food-chain.

you make money by renting research space, docking facilities, fueling facilities, tourist destination, rescue base, etc. :ideamaybenot:

So true! However, for one of these gyres at least, isn't Midway island a possible starting base for the Recycled Island? It seems to be where much of the plastic ends up.

Of the 1.5 million Laysan Albatrosses which inhabit Midway, nearly all[citation needed] are found to have plastic in their digestive system.[13] Approximately one-third of the chicks die.[14]

Posted Image

But maybe they're so concerned about the damage to Midway's ecology their focus is on an entirely new floating, movable project that deals with the rubbish before it even gets to Midway! Maybe they're also counting on the islands to look after their own environments and don't want to become 'entangled' in their government affairs. (Hawaii being another affected island, etc).

#8 Qfwfq

Qfwfq

    Exhausted Gondolier

  • Members
  • 6,241 posts

Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:04 AM

Which leads to an interesting political and sociological question. Will this more 'temporary' structure that needs to respond to the weather and location of ocean debris ever become a nation-state? Or will it be more of a Corporate-stan, owned and run by a giant corporation under corporate rule? Would they try to form their own nation-state like the silly Sealand 'principality'?

If it is done outside of any nation's jurisdiction, the builder has quite ample choice.

(I almost pity these silly buffoons, imagine being stuck on this ugly pile of concrete?)

Nobody is actually stuck there, the Bates family come and go as they please. Of course, if they did not also have British citizenship, they would have to go through immigration formalities each time.

When Bates first set up his pirate radio station there, it was not in national waterways and had already been decommissioned by the British military. In essence, he could do what he liked but he could not expect Britain to defend the place for him. After Achenbach captured the place, he used his own means to regain it. Since 1987 its independence became a subtle matter but apparently the Brithish authorities have little interest in settling it, but I doubt they would dare repeat the stunt of firing warning shots at boats coming near it.

#9 Eclipse Now

Eclipse Now

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 826 posts

Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:25 PM

It sure has a quirky history hey? Even it's own little 'war'!

#10 Knothead

Knothead

    Thinking

  • Members
  • 142 posts

Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:40 PM

The sieve problem is that they want a way to sieve the plastic and not the plankton, the rubbish and not the rainbow-trout, the mess and not the marine life. They want to clean up the ocean without cleaning out the ocean.

Any ideas?


I wonder if there isn't a way to locally repel marine life. I've seen a show where they introduce something into the water and the sharks scatter immediately. Perhaps there is a harmless substance that just smells bad to fish. Or maybe sound or vibrations could be used.

#11 Qfwfq

Qfwfq

    Exhausted Gondolier

  • Members
  • 6,241 posts

Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:47 AM

It sure has a quirky history hey? Even it's own little 'war'!

Amusing, yes, all over a convenient little place to elude law and do as you please, though not as great a history as that of the Principat of Monaco.
monaco history

I wonder if there isn't a way to locally repel marine life. I've seen a show where they introduce something into the water and the sharks scatter immediately. Perhaps there is a harmless substance that just smells bad to fish. Or maybe sound or vibrations could be used.

I doubt there is a panacea. I believe what they use to repel sharks is shark blood, it is a danger signal to them. Sounds and vibes might be harmful to some forms and wouldn't send all of them away.

#12 Knothead

Knothead

    Thinking

  • Members
  • 142 posts

Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:13 AM

I doubt there is a panacea. I believe what they use to repel sharks is shark blood, it is a danger signal to them. Sounds and vibes might be harmful to some forms and wouldn't send all of them away.


Well, it was just an idea. :sherlock:
Are you sure about the shark blood though? I have read that sharks will devour other sharks in the midst of a feeding frenzy. If the blood was a danger signal, I can't see how that could happen.

#13 Qfwfq

Qfwfq

    Exhausted Gondolier

  • Members
  • 6,241 posts

Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:33 AM

I don't know, I read something years ago so I thought it might be what you mentioned.

#14 Eclipse Now

Eclipse Now

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 826 posts

Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:02 AM

I wonder how fast the island could grow? I wonder how fast they could capture and sort the plastic, melt it down, and reshape it into the pontoon blocks they imagine fastening together?

Imagine walking around the city block. It's not the usual issues of "Oh, they pulled down those old trees we liked" or "Look what colour they've painted their apartments!" but "Look! There's a whole new street they've just added to the island!"

How big and heavy before it sinks?

#15 Knothead

Knothead

    Thinking

  • Members
  • 142 posts

Posted 07 August 2010 - 05:03 PM

I know that there is a lot of crap floating around the oceans. I've crossed the Atlantic in a small sailboat once and have sailed from California to Florida and I saw more garbage than I would have liked to have seen.
Still, I can't believe that there is anywhere near enough plastic floating around in all the oceans combined to make a floating island that could hold any more than a few hundred people.

Why does it have to be floating anyway? If there is a need for more land, why can't it be built up from the bottom like they did in Dubai and the plastic just be sequestered in the earth like carbon?

It just seems to me to be over complicated to try to make floating islands out of an unknown quantity of plastic garbage and then try to sustain civilizations on it.
There is already a lot of inhospitable land available in the world. Is there really a need to create more?

I'm all for trying to come up with ideas to remove the garbage from the sea, but it seems to me that recycling it would be a better use for it. Perhaps using the plastic to make prefab homes and prefab compost containers and prefab cisterns or ...you get the idea.

Why don't we just work with what we have?

#16 Eclipse Now

Eclipse Now

    Explaining

  • Members
  • 826 posts

Posted 08 August 2010 - 09:32 PM

The whole point is the energy required to move all those millions and millions of tons of micro-plastic to a petro-chemical recycling refinery in an industrialised country somewhere.

So when you say:

I'm all for trying to come up with ideas to remove the garbage from the sea, but it seems to me that recycling it would be a better use for it.


That is exactly what they are trying to do: recycling on site. And they're trying to make a new ecosystem and economic system in the process. They're thinking outside of the box to create a floating barge-island that can have economic value in its own right. Otherwise I can't see how paying a fleet of boats to go out and collect this stuff will ever prove economic. There are other ways to make plastic, such as from coal and gas and biomass. If we don't come up with an economic way to recycle this stuff, then the ocean is doomed to ecocide by plasticification.

And if that isn't a word, it should be!

#17 Illiad

Illiad

    Thinking

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 87 posts

Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:30 AM

well I think the method must be mechanical since chemicals don't usually react with plastic and its bad for the water. Something that exploits the property difference between the salt water and plastic. density?