Can we turn garbage island into an eco-paradise?

Illustration for article titled Can we turn garbage island into an eco-paradise?

A swirling island of garbage has emerged in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, cobbled together out of Pacific Rim waste, poisoning birds who mistake its plastic for food. Now a design firm wants to make it a real island.

They call their project "Recycled Island," and it would be created by converting all the plastic from garbage island into flotation banks and aquaculture farms. The designers imagine that a small city could thrive there. Can it be done?

Learn more about this speculative geo-engineering project via Recycled Island

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No (and this is why I hate fake design).

The "island" of garbage is really just a really large area that has lots of garbage in it. If it were recoverable, well, recyclers would just go out there and do it. Most of it is very tiny. The main problem isn't the iconic bird chocking on a six-pack, but the dissolved plastic that works its way up the food chain.