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10 innovative ideas that let us live on water

By: Laura Moss on April 29, 2011, 1:15 p.m.
floating island made from plastic bottles

Photo: ZUMA Press

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Plastic islands

In 1998, Rishi Sowa built his first artificial island using 250,000 plastic bottles to keep it afloat, and today he lives on Spiral Island II (pictured), a smaller island that he built using 100,000 plastic bottles. The island features a house, beaches, ponds and even a solar-powered waterfall.

Even more ambitious than Sowa’s island is architect Ramon Knoester’s plan to build Recycled Island, a floating island the size of Hawaii made entirely of plastic from the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. Aside from being composed of recycled plastic, the island would also be completely self-sufficient, supporting its own agriculture and getting its power from solar and wave energy. When it’s complete, Knoester hopes the island will be home to at least half a million residents who can enjoy the artificial island’s seaweed harvest and compost toilets.