The Plastiki Expedition: Reduce, Reuse, and Sail


Sailing a boat made entirely of plastic bottles and recycled waste products across the Pacific seems like an insane idea. But is it?  Breaking the mold, David De Rothschild and his team transformed this idea into a reality, shocking the media and demanding global attention on the issue of ocean pollution.  With a 12,000 mile trans-Pacific voyage from San Francisco to Sydney the team made major environmental waves by sailing Plastiki, a vessel made entirely of recycled  waste.

De Rothschild and a crew of scientists chartered their voyage right through the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating mass of human waste twice the size of Texas. This man-made oceanic plastic soup demonstrates the need for action. Seeking to illustrate the world’s role in the plight of the environment De Rothschild explained,

It is our aim to captivate, inspire and activate tomorrow’s environmental thinkers and doers to take positive action for our Planet and to be smart with waste; ultimately we hope to inspire people to rethink waste as a valuable resource. One person’s waste could be another person’s treasure.

Side view of the hull construction with up-cycled plastic bottles. David De Rothschild to the right. Image from National Geographic:

Plastiki setting out on her voyage from San Francisco, California to Sydney, Australia Image from National Geographic

Plastiki defines innovation as ‘off-the-grid,’ and solely relying on renewable energy. This revolutionary catamaran is kept afloat by 12,500 plastic bottles in its hull, making it an Eco-yacht. Plastiki was designed with sustainable thinking seen through the  technologies aboard, such as bicycle generators, a urine-to-water recovery system, rain water catchment, and a hydroponic vertical garden.

Hydroponic vertical garden aboard Plastiki that grows food without soil or land base and recycles water over and over again. Click on the photo to read more.

Along the Plastiki expedition the crew of sailors and  scientists addressed research on issues of ocean pollution, over-fishing, coral bleaching, advocacy, and proactive measures of helping the oceans. The message to absorb is that there are always new ways to reuse, reduce, and recycle. In getting back to nature, no one should undermine the significance of up-cycling and drinking tap water. Plastiki inspires the world to redefine a sustainable future in unexpected places.

For all the environmental go-getters out there, do you think that Plastiki is sailing us into a new recyclable future?


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