The Sea in 3D

A new approach in sea conservation
By driving an ethical cycle, we transform discarded plastic into a tool to promote marine conservation and biodiversity.

The results

  • Students and teachers involved
  • Scientific dissemination events organized
  • People actively involved
  • Educational kits produced with recycled plastic

In collaboration with: Scuola di Robotica

THE CHALLENGE: a plastic-free sea

The Ligurian Sea with its wealth of natural and fishery resources, has always attracted a large number of tourists and passionate fishermen all year round.
Plastic pollution from fishing equipment such as nets, fishing lines, crab traps and the litter discarded onto beaches, constitutes one of the biggest environmental threats to the Ligurian coast and its seabed.
This rubbish takes extremely long to break down and, besides spoiling the beautiful landscape, it causes serious damage to the marine ecosystem once it becomes embedded in the seabed.
The only way to tackle this serious problem is through targeted, environmental education campaigns that enable people to understand first-hand the impacts on the environment.
The correct disposal and reuse of waste materials turns into a valuable opportunity to share a message of sustainability that is more direct and immediate in triggering ethical behaviour.
The use of innovative technologies offers environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions and lays the foundation for the experience of recycling, which can trigger even wider social change.

THE GOAL: innovation to safeguard the sea

The goal of the project The Sea in 3D is to develop innovative solutions to collect and recycle plastics based on the principles of the circular economy, thus inspiring an ethical life cycle.
Its specific purpose is to transform discarded fishing gear and all other plastics collected during coastal and seabed clean-up operations, into useful items to make people understand the fragility of the marine environment and the importance of understanding and protecting it.

OUR PROJECT: to protect the sea by recycling and reusing plastic through 3D printing

The Sea in 3D is a project promoted by the Costa Crociere Foundation in collaboration with the Scuola di Robotica (School of Robotics) in Genoa, which ties in with two other projects sponsored by the Foundation, A Helping Hand for the Tyrrhenian and En Route to a Bluer Sea, both of which aim to create a culture of environmental awareness and promote the clean-up and collection of plastic waste.
This three-year project in pursuit of marine conservation, resulted from the convergence of the ethical application of technology, a passion for education, and scientific dissemination.
The creation of collection points in which to deposit the rubbish gathered in the clean-ups of the shoreline and the seabed gave rise to the idea of an original and innovative way to transform the plastic collected into a tangible example for our environmental protection campaigns.
Litter such as PET and broken nylon fishing nets are thus repurposed thanks to 3D printing, which can transform a series of computer-drawn objects into three-dimensional shapes, ready to be used for a series of outreach activities: educational kits about sea-life for visually-impaired children and schools, buoys for marking snorkelling paths (Blue Trails), and seabed clean-up equipment.
The conservation message of The Sea in 3D encompasses a series of outreach campaigns aimed at schools, local stakeholders, citizens and tourists in Ligurian sea-side resorts for the protection of the marine ecosystem with days dedicated to snorkelling — eco-friendly finning — and collecting sea debris both from the sea and the beach.
Specific focus was given to educational activities that also involved special-needs students and at-risk students, providing them with technical skills in the 3D printing process and mapping a professional path that constitutes an added value to a project focussed not only on environmental issues, but also educational and social ones.

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