posted on Jul, 8 2013 @ 04:14 PM
Great idea, but several issues.
One problem, the plastic itself. Someone might think all you would need to do is melt it down and cast it into some parts. OK. Even if that was
possible, you are going to need a huge plastics factory basically sitting in the middle of the patch.
But it isn't even that simple. Not all plastics are the same. Not all plastics can be melted down. Some plastics, once set, do not melt. They will
burn, but not melt. You cannot really recycle these plastics.
So now you have a huge plastic production facility in the middle of the ocean. Now you need a huge sorting facility in the middle of the ocean. You
need a huge fleet of trawlers to go around collecting all that plastic. You need food, water, and other supplies for all those people playing around
in the middle of the ocean.
If you couldn't tell already, just starting out we have billions of dollars in investments needed just to get this project off the ground. Not only
that, but the environmental and economic drain of this project will surpass the benefit. Removing a bit of plastic from the ocean, vs millions if not
billions or gallons of oil used for fueling and supporting this project.
There just isn't enough meat on the bone. It's like burning the rainforest down so that a single certain tree can grow. Sure, you now have more of
this one tree and you can pat yourself on the back, but you forgot the entire forest of trees you burned to save those few.
Unless this was a massive volunteer job, with people using sailboats and rowbots to live and work in the middle of the ocean, it's going to be a loss
economically and environmentally.
The better idea is just to send trawlers out there to scoop all the plastic up, bring it back ashore, and bury it in a landfill or recycle what we
can. Even this would be incredibly expensive, and just think of how many fish and sea creatures we will capture by accident trawling the oceans with
super fine mesh nets to catch microscopic pieces of plastic. Might as well let all the animals die in the plastic, if we were to net all that plastic
we'd likely net every last living creature in the area as well.
Then there is the issue of plastic not being as strong as people think. The reason there are microscopic pieces of plastic in the ocean, and not large
solid objects, is because plastic breaks down. Sunlight can destroy plastic and make it brittle and fall apart. I'd fear that even if you could turn
all that plastic into a city, in short order that city would be reduced back into a pile of tiny chunks of plastic
There just isn't a feasible way to do what you want to do. If we had some sort of cheap unlimited energy this would work great, but if we had
unlimited cheap energy there would be no point in doing anything other than simply cleaning the mess up and calling it a day, making a city from it
wouldn't really accomplish anything.
So it can't work in today's world, and if there was a world where this COULD work, it wouldn't be needed, because we could simply clean the mess
and be done, as our energy needs wouldn't be an issue.