As our world continues to grow, our consumption and dispensing of plastic increases by the day. As of 2014, the UN estimates roughly 100 million tons of plastic have steadily found their way into the oceans. In the Pacific gyre region alone, ratios of 6 pounds of plastic to 1 pound of plankton have been found. This plastic takes thousands of years to degrade, remaining in the environment to be broken up into ever smaller fragments by ocean currents.
Working in tandem with local fishermen, Studio Swine and Kieren Jones hope to bring the issue to light with the Sea Chair Project, a series of functional pieces of art made up of garbage derived entirely from ocean water in the gyre region. Through a series of innovative processes and devices, marine debris are collected in fishing nets or found washed up on the shore. Elements are sorted according to color and cut into small pieces, then melted at 266 degrees Fahrenheit in a DIY furnace. The first Sea Chair, launched at Milan Design Week 2012, was produced with plastic collected from Porthowan Beach in the UK with the help of a custom made Sea Press.
Watch the process beautifully depicted by Studio Swine below:
Images via Studio Swine