This “Floating Continent” Could Gather & Recycle the Plastic from Oceans

Named “The 8th Continent”, this award-winning design is able to recycle plastic from oceans while being 100 percent self-sustainable.

It has five structures and features everything from living quarters to biodegradable waste collectors and greenhouses.

It’s the brainchild of Lenka Petrakova, a senior designer at Zaha Hadid Architects from London, and part of her master thesis she conducted several years ago in Vienna where she studied ocean pollution.

The 8th Continent Brings Hope for the Polluted Oceans

Petrakova notes that she quickly realized how damaged our oceans are and how many species have gone extinct due to plastic overuse.

She also adds that even the parts where no human has ever stepped are impacted by the disastrous effects of our non-sustainable practices.

Unfortunately, according to the IUCN, at least eight million tons of plastic go into the sea yearly. And, most of this plastic enters the foods we consume and our bodies.

Moreover, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, as well as millions of seabirds die from plastic pollution every year.

Petrakova’s final concept of the design won her the 2020 Grand Prix Award in Architecture and Innovation of the Sea, a competition by the Jacques Rougerie Foundation.

We Need to Care for Our Oceans, Now More than Ever Before

When asked about what inspired her to create this design, Petrakova says it’s the complexity of marine life. She wanted to create a floating station that would be a living organism that’s entirely self-sustainable.

She looked into marine species, including animals and plants. She learned how they interact with the water and collect energy from it. Her goal was to design an ocean-cleaning concept and also help improve the health of the oceans.

When it becomes operational, this station will be connected to the sea, but it’s also flexible and able to move with the currents. It produces its own energy through harvesting facilities. It also has centers for desalination that optimize the ocean’s health.

According to one statement from an interview, Petrakova thinks that Elon Musk would make an awesome patron of the project considering his dedication to future technologies and researching new territories.