The News Today
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12.14.19
Suck It Up

Wild Concept: Build Trash-Sucking Skyscrapers on Ocean Oil Rigs

August 8th 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Earth & Energy
Honglin Li

Float On

Architectural designer Honglin Li wants to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a collection of floating debris about twice as big as Texas and 100 feet thick on average — by building a skyscraper right in the middle of it.

Honglin’s idea is to build Filtration, a megastructure containing several material recovery facilities and water treatment plants, on an oil rig platform near the patch.

Filtration would then use seawater to pump garbage and polluted water to the building’s top level, and then recycle the garbage and clean the water as it flows back down.

Dream On

Filtration recently earned Honglin an honorable mention in architecture magazine eVolo’s 2019 skyscraper competition, so the people who know a thing or two about design seem to believe the idea has merit.

However, there’s nothing to indicate Honglin’s ocean skyscraper will ever actually be built. Even more discouraging: concrete attempts to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch have produced less-than-stellar results so far.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

So what’s the best way to address this massive mass of trash then? According to Holly Bamford, former director of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program, we need to stop making it bigger.

“We need to turn off the taps at the source,” Bamford told Mother Nature Network in June. “We need to educate people on the proper disposal of things that do not break up, like plastics… As a society, we have to get better at reusing what we buy.”

READ MORE: FILTRATION is a floating skyscraper envisioned to recycle ocean garbage [Design Boom]

More on ocean trash: Plastic Part Breaks off Device Intended to Capture Ocean Plastic