Saturday, March 14, 2020

multiply negatives, what to do with plastic pollution

Does the lotus unfold on its own 

Or is intervention a necessity?

I came here to develop a technique to create useful, functional sculptures from ubiquitous plastic waste .

It's a long shot, not my first ( see: build eco-arts center Trenton nj, sustainable low-cost modular shelter systems, and of course the reinvention of the egg )


Perhaps I bite off more than I can chew. But grand problems may require grand solutions.  


My hypothesis is that most of the plastic waste that is thermo plastic as opposed to thermo setting. Which means that it will soften fuse and melt under heat. ( thermosetting plastic is more like a two part epoxy,  and can't be remelted).

So, with a bit of heat <275°C and pressure we can form laminated sheets of plastic hdpe,ldpe,pete,  PVC and a few others which comprise the bulk of ocean plastic as well as " recycled " plastic.

Instead of sorting these different polymers and worrying about contamination,  clean them a bit, and then heat, press and form them into thick continuous sheets. 

These forms will be anywhere from 20-100cm thick, the shape of which closely resembles a hull of a ship.

Instead of being linear,  this hull arcs around to form a torus (donut).

There is a drainage pipe running through the circumference (nts). 

It is back filled with soil ,silt and organic matter which acts as a growing medium. 

Inside the torus, is suspended three more floating mats of soil, semi submerged in a fresh water situation,  these areas can grow rice and other water loving plants.

Although it has agricultural, aquacultural and seasteading applications,  my main objective is to provide wildlife habitat. 

Although,  that may not pay the bills.

a dome is constructed over the inside.