Any parent who has visited Ikea in recent years will be familiar with the retailer's plastic bath toy boat, the Smakryp. Now, the company has built two giant versions, which are currently floating on the Thames in London, clearing garbage from polluted water.
The two remote-controlled boats are currently in action at Deptford Creek, south east London, promoting the opening of Ikea's new Greenwich store, claimed to be its most "sustainable" store so far. Each one uses "Orca" technology developed in China, which allows them to collect up to 20kg of garbage at one time. Measuring nearly three meters in length and weighing up to 70kg, the boats are said to be durable and anti-corrosive, making them as effective as possible in clearing litter and debris from water.
As part of the initiative, via Mother London, the public is being invited down to "captain" the boats remotely during the current school break and the garbage collected will be upcycled into a sculpture to be displayed at the Greenwich store. After the school holiday, the boats will be permanently donated to the sustainability charity, Hubbub, as part of its ongoing program to educate people on plastic pollution.