Tuesday, September 9, 2014
The existence of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was predicted by many oceanographers and climatologists for some time. However, the actual discovery of the patch took place in 1997 when a racing boat captain named Charles Moore stumbled upon it after completing a race and noticed millions of pieces of plastic surrounding his ship. Since then, five more have been discovered across the world's oceans with the Atlantic gyre predicted to be larger than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which, itself, has been predicted to be twice the size of Texas.
The motion of the gyre prevents the garbage from escaping and takes thousands of years to degrade, still forever remaining in the environment. Recent studies estimate an average of 46,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometer of the world's oceans with the number in the Pacific Ocean tripling in the least 10 years. That's estimated to be a total of 100 million tons worldwide and only looking to increase at an alarming rate.
So let's just recap that for a second. There's a huge mass, I'm sorry, masses, of plastic larger than twice the size of texas currently occupying our oceans. Twice the size! I've driven across that beast many times and I cannot fathom the size of such a mass. How are we not freaking out about this?
Well, one of the most amazing things about design is that it covers a variety of things. Design is the creation of solutions and Studio Swine has decided to dedicate a project to this specific effort.
Britain's fishing community is in decline with depleting fish stocks and industrial trawling miles offshore. With the E.U unveiling plans to pay fisherman for plastic by-catch, advances in the development of nets for collecting plastics and by collecting washed up plastic on shore we have designed a floating factory ship that recycles this marine waste into sea chairs.
Project Sea Chairs taps into the history of seamen and their tradition of furniture making in Britain's port towns. It's a lovely creation from such a terrifying source. Hopefully this and other innovative solutions can lead to the clean up of our oceans and overall environment. Great job, Studio Swine!