Tower game made from marine plastic helps you think about environmental impact

One of my plans in life when I eventually retire is to live somewhere near the beach and just have a daily walk along the shore. Aside from nature and people watching, another thing that I enjoy is to look at some of the things that people leave, intentionally or unintentionally, by the shore and in the water and wonder what’s the story behind it. Of course it’s not a good thing that these trash are left there so it will also be part of my routine to clean this up and think of ways to encourage people not to litter on the beach.

Designers: Shoma Furui and Kem Kobayashi

One idea that came from someone who has been seeing all these tiny pieces of trash left on the Makuhari Beach in Chiba City is to create a game out of them. Debris is a tower-stacking game similar to Jenga and Uno Stacko but is made from the marine plastic collected from the area. The tiles have different color patterns based on the season and the collection site where these microplastics came from. It uses VOC-free (no volatile organic compounds) and water-based acrylic resin as a binding agent.

While you’ll have fun playing the game (if this is your thing), the designer also wants to make Debris a way for consumers to engage with environmental issues. Regular beach clean ups do help keep the shore and water clean but there are also those tiny pieces that remain buried and erode into invisible microplastics. They have an effect on the marine environment that sometimes may not be so visible or obvious to us. Having a game made from these pieces can help us think about our effect on our environment.

It can also be interesting to think about what these colors and shapes were in their previous life as trash. But the important thing is that the materials and process in creating Debris is fully sustainable and it can be disposed of properly when you no longer need it. And hopefully, you get to think about what you’re doing to help preserve marine life and keep places like beaches a safe haven for all.