Madrid's Gran Vía unveils the first pop-up store in the world featuring “objects that nobody wants” retrieved from the sea

Monday 12, June 2023

• A selection of unusual objects rescued by EDP after a record-breaking underwater cleanup can be seen on Gran Vía, a main Madrid street, until June 30, next to the EDP Gran Vía Theater

• These "unwanted objects" indicate their cost to the planet, that is, the years it would take for them to decompose

• The proceeds from the “virtual sale" of these objects will go to the NGO The Ocean Cleanup

A laptop, a washing machine drum, a Darth Vader figure... Once, the owners of these objects decided to get rid of them by throwing them into the ocean. Now that they’ve been rescued, EDP is displaying a selection of 13 of those items at Madrid’s Gran Vía, in the world’s first pop-up store that brings together these “unwanted objects” with the aim of raising awareness about the urge to take action to protect the planet and fight climate change.

Each one of the objects in display has an associated value, like a price tag. However, that value does not indicate the cost of the object to the customer but rather its cost to the planet, that is, the number of years it takes to decompose on Earth: for example, both the laptop and the washing machine drum would take over 500 years to disintegrate.

The pieces in the exhibition – integrated in this project which takes the name 'Backwash' (associated to the movement of the tides) - can also be seen online as well as the associated values that can be converted into donations for charitable purposes - the total amount raised will be donated to the NGO The Ocean Cleanup, which develops and applies advanced technologies to remove plastic waste from the oceans worldwide. Each year, around 12 million tons of plastic, equivalent to over 100,000 blue whales, are dumped into the oceans, a giant ecosystem that is home to around 80% of all life on Earth.

This pop-up store, which can be visited for free at 66, Gran Vía Street until the 30 of June, is composed entirely of objects rescued from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in Sesimbra, Portugal, after carrying out the world's largest underwater cleanup: 597 divers in 12 hours, as indicated by the Guinness World Records. An action organized by the Portuguese NGO Oceanum Liberandum and supported by EDP.

The divers who conducted the cleanup recovered three tons of trash, including laptops, footwear, appliances, and all kinds of utensils, some of which were unusual, such as a "Darth Vader" toy (now named as ‘Dirty Vader’) or a small plastic vehicle now known as a "Yellow Submarine Truck Ride-On". These objects are still recognizable despite the passage of time underwater.

During the opening of the pop-up store, Nacho Dean, leader of the ocean conservation NGO La España Azul, conducted a guided tour explaining the impact that this type of object ending up on our shores has on the ocean.

A project built with partnerships

The exhibition will remain in Gran Vía until the 30 of June. In addition, visitors will learn about several initiatives related to ocean protection that have taken place in recent weeks, alongside organizations committed to this cause. This includes the Libera Project, with which EDP is also collaborating this year in a new marine cleanup action carried out in more than 30 locations in Spain, under the motto "Choosing the ocean means choosing the earth."

Last May, EDP supported the second edition of the underwater cleanup day in Sesimbra (Portugal), which once again broke the Guinness World Record by reuniting 842 divers in 24 hours. During this period, they collected from the seabed an additional seven tons of marine litter.

Furthermore, on 22 of June EDP is organizing the international conference 'We Choose Earth Tour' at the EDP Gran Vía Theater, alongside the pop-up store. The conference will feature renowned speakers such as Amal Clooney, Céline Cousteau, and Macaco, among others. It will raise discussion about how to save the planet and delve into ocean protection. Additionally, the benefits from ticket sales ( will be directed to organizations working in various fields related to environmental care, energy transition, and societal awareness, such as ECODES, La España Azul, and Ecomar.

Through these initiatives, EDP reinforces its commitment to society and climate action, in line with the company's positioning and its claim: "We choose Earth". The oceans are here a central point in the vision and strategy of the company - which invests in offshore wind energy and floating offshore solar projects in various parts of the world -, reflecting a clear focus on the sustainability of this vital resource to ensure energy transition. EDP thus hopes to contribute to mitigating the impact of climate change on the oceans and raise awareness of the urgency of protecting marine life.