Total elimination of plastics in our lives might be quite impractical. However, how can we handle the growing heap of plastics, which cannot be widely used? Industrial designer Chris Allen says he has found the way to use the most popular items which pollute our planet – plastic bottles. He called his concept “The Plastic Plan”.
This project requires millions of plastic bottles with caps. The material is abundant as there is plenty of it in landfills or in warehouses of recycling companies in which plastic processing generates big amounts of greenhouse gases. The next step is to use the bottles to make cubes which can float on the ocean surface. Thousands of such cubes may be combined to form floating structures even the size of a few sports fields.
Bottles removed from the environment make a platform which generates and stores energy. Photovoltaic panels, wind turbines or wave-powered pumps may be installed on such platforms. The entire structure has been designed to serve as a pumped-storage hydropower plant. Clean, renewable energy may be used to pumped water into a tank mounted even 30 meters above sea surface. Water from the upper tank, released if needed, powers up turbines generating electricity when the demand for power is high.
Allen thinks the best place for such structures will be the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, where a chain of such floating islands could additionally protect the shore from ocean waters. Chris Allen believes that if we use the scale effect properly, the project may provide answer to the waste crisis and the lack of clean energy generated with no greenhouse gas emissions.