Plastic waste and microplastics are wreaking havoc on aquatic ecosystems everywhere. Removal of this plastic waste is essential, however, once removed most plastic items end up in landfills and microplastics are almost impossible to recover. This speculative design and research paper aims to combine real-world technologies with future possibility and utilize repurposed plastic packaging to create ‘plastic eating’ machines. These machines would passively roam bodies of water remediating microplastics and other plastic waste from the ecosystem while functioning as an interdisciplinary research facility.
Shredding and melting experiments are undertaken to determine the best and most economic techniques to reform reclaimed plastic. Research is presented on innovative biotechnology that makes use of bacteria to both gather and eliminate plastic from water. Architectural drawings, sketches and designs for the machines are proposed.