Rotterdam's Floating Park Is Made 100% from Recycled Plastic Waste

The floating park also cleans the Nieuwe Maas River by preventing plastic from drifting into the ocean.

Feb 9, 2019

The future of recycling is here! Rotterdam--a city already known for its innovative trash-eating aquatic drones--has managed to turn ocean-cleaning into an attraction anyone can enjoy. Rotterdam’s Recycled Island Foundation created a floating park made from recycled materials that also cleans the Nieuwe Maas River by preventing plastic from drifting into the ocean. Even the seating is made from recycled materials.

One of the most striking attributes of the park is its location; situated right in the middle of residential high-rises and Europe’s busiest ports. Though recycling plastic may not sound sight-see worthy, the project’s creator ensured the design would fit right in with its surroundings.

The 140-square-meter park is made of recycled, expandable materials, provides plenty of seating and space for visors, and attracts snails, birds, flatworms, larva, fish, and beetles.

The park isn’t just there to sit pretty, however. The green space, which mostly serves as a way to reuse plastic host a thriving habitat for various creatures, also helps educate residents and visitors about how different materials can be re-used in endless ways.

The project’s creator, Ramon Knoester, said his vision come to life serves as a mixture of enabling those to enjoy the beautiful nature, while also highlighting the importance of ridding our waters of litter.

“This prototype shows the potential of what we can do with marine litter. Recycled Park is a floating green structure where birds are nesting, fish are swimming, and where people can enjoy a relaxing moment on the water. From the two seating elements the visitors can see how nature occupies this first new combination of artificial and natural landscape.”

The entire project was built with marine life in mind. The bottom of the platforms leaves plenty of room for plants to flourish and fish to leave their eggs, all contributing to a thriving ecosystem. 

Eventually, Knoester plans to extend his Recycled Park concept to other cities like London and Antwerp, further empowering citizens to embrace the importance of recycling.

“Hopefully one day we'll reach the point where people will say 'okay we'd like to have more floating parks and more floating structures, so we should be more careful with our plastic waste.”

Soon, we may see other cities following Rotterdam’s lead in creating inventive, green spaces that’ll preserve our water for years to come.

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Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.