Entirely made from plastic waste recovered in the city’s port, Rotterdam’s floating park, called “Recycled Park” is a pioneer in urban planning and the circular economy.
Launched by the WHIM architectural firm and the Recycled Island Foundation, in collaboration with the borough of Rotterdam and around twenty other partners, this 140 m² space is made up of 28 interconnected small 5 m² islands: floating green spaces on which to stroll, sit or relax. Floating spaces on which you can rest – quite original! However, the real innovation – and the actual purpose – of this project is found in the way in which this green space was created: the 28 hexagons were made from plastics recovered from the banks and canals around the city. Some of them were collected by hand, while others were fished up directly from the Nieuwe Maas river that winds through the city, using waste traps. In order to promote biodiversity, the blocks were filled with earth in which various plants were planted.
The project’s initiators’ main aim was to collect plastic waste before it reached the North Sea, and more broadly “show that plastic recycled from recovered materials in the waterways is a valuable material suitable for recycling”.
In addition to cleaning up pollution and offering inhabitants a new green space, this park is also intended to make the flora and fauna that disappeared because of pollution come back and revitalise the ecosystem. Plants have been planted on each hexagonal block, in which birds can make their nests. The submerged part is covered in algae and plants in which marine species can lay their eggs.
The Recycled Island Foundation does not intend to stop there: it intends to continue removing waste from the river and already plans to install other “Recycled Parks” throughout the country.