Rotterdam floating park made from recycled plastic waste

Rotterdam floating park made from recycled plastic waste

A 140m2 floating park made from recycled plastic is the newest addition to the waters of the Rijnhaven in Rotterdam. The park opened on July 4.

Cleaning up Dutch waters

Plastic litter is a structural problem in open waters. It travels via rivers into the open sea, where it then becomes a global problem. Efforts are being made to clean up the plastic from the Nieuwe Maas river before it can end up in the North Sea. 

The plastic waste that is collected is being used constructively to build innovative floating parks. In doing so, plastic receives new value, as a valuable material suitable for recycling. Rotterdam sets an example for ports the world over, as removing the plastic from ports actively prevents the further growth of the plastic soup in our seas and oceans. 

Creating the floating parks

In order to gather all the plastic from the river, the Recycled Island Foundation developed three litter traps. The traps were tested, monitored and optimised over a period of 1,5 years. They trap plastics as they travel with the stream and are designed to hold onto the plastics even if the direction of the stream turns. 

The prototype serves as a valuable example for similar floating structures elsewhere. The structure consists of hexagonal building blocks linked together. On the top layer of the building blocks, plants, flowers and grass lawns can be grown, similar to a roof garden.

The floating park was initiated by the Recycled Island Foundation, the City of Rotterdam, WIHM Architecture and HEBO Maritime Service.



Image source: Recycled Island Foundation

Rachel Deloughry


Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

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