Plastic Gold

Interdisciplinary Product Development Course 2014

Our interdisciplinary team of 5 students from Aalto University’s IDBM-program were given a task by Nextbase ( to come up with an innovative concept they could utilize with their floating containers. The brief was to build up a concept to a platform formed of these containers. We came up with a concept for sea waste harvesting called Plastic Gold.

Plastic Gold concentrates on cleaning-up our polluted water-areas from plastic waste. In addition Plastic Gold includes a solution for sorting out the waste. Through logistical chain and collaboration network, the sorted material can be distributed to organizations, companies and other parties that can reuse the material for other purposes. Thus Plastic Gold creates a double value:

1. Cleans up our water areas.

2. Offers alternative and ecological materials for companies and other parties looking for a greener image.


“Create a solution for collecting the plastic debris from the ocean by using the Nextbase containers and to create a network for utilizing the plastic waste profitably.”


How does it work?
First the Gyre-cleaning solution needs to get feasible (and ecological), second it needs to get profitable. Next we are going to go through our possible solution for cleaning up the gyres step-by-step.

1. Transport the harvesting containers from the harbour to the already located plastic gyres by boat/ferry.

2. When on harvesting location, pull the smaller containers and the processor out of the transportation containers.

3. Releasing of the containers and allowing float freely. The containers are connected with a net so that they don´t drift apart.

4. The processor for sorting the garbage will sink and turn the containers with its weight in different position. This way the air inside will divide equally among the compScreen shot 2015-02-05 at 4.46.58 PMonents and stay balanced.

5. When the net has rolled open, the processor will start to absorb the garbage from the water.

6. The processor runs with solar power and in the future scenario hopefully with the oil produced from the harvested plastic.

7. The processor will collect from micro-bead plastics but also bigger objects drifting in the sea.

8. All the collected material is sorted and compressed for storing and transporting into the container.

9. The filled container is lifted back to the ship or ferry, which will deliver them to the nearest harbour.

10. The harvested material is transported to different destinations for further processing: regrinding, washing and melting, repelletizing.

Team members:
Akatsuki Ryu, Anu Nokua, Marcus Söderlund, Topias Tuomisto, Susanna NuutinenScreen shot 2015-02-05 at 4.49.04 PM
Screen shot 2015-02-05 at 4.49.28 PM


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