In the late 2000’s David Mayer de Rothschild wanted to raise awareness of the huge Pacific Garbage Patch (The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific trash vortex, is a gyre of marine debris in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135°W to 155°W and 35°N and 42°N. The patch extends over an indeterminate area, with estimates ranging very widely depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area. The patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre). David decided to invent and build a boat made entirely from recycled plastic bottle and other sustainable and/or recycled materials. They built the boat at a lab on Pier 31 in San Francisco the dubbed the boat the “Plastiki”. The Plastiki is named after the Kon-Tiki, a raft used by Pacific explorer Thor Heyerdahl.
The 60-foot catamaran was built from approx. 12 500 reclaimed plastic bottles and a unique recyclable technology called Seretex. Seretex, which was developed by de Rothschild and his team, was meant to reuse PET in a novel way, finding new uses for a waste product. In March 2010, de Rothschild launched the boat. The Plastiki and its crew sailed over 8 000 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney.
The construction of the ship is notable not only for its use of recycled plastic bottles as a primary building material, but also using reclaimed and environmentally friendly materials throughout. In April, 2010 he told Good Morning America: “Every part of the boat, even down to the glue we used to stick the boat together, [it] is a glue we made and had to engineer specifically for this project. It’s made of cashew nuts and sugar….every part of the boat – from the interior with reclaimed materials, reclaimed fabric, is all trying to do our best and showcasing there are a lot of solutions out there”.
To learn more, check out their journey from bottle to Sydney check out … http://theplastiki.com/
Plastic doesn’t just go away when you throw it away .. so use it responsibly .. and at all times .. recycle!