The 'Plastiki' Expedition
Ever wondered about the fate of all those plastic bottles that wash up on our beaches very summer? In Australia last summer plastic bottles were put to a far more eco-friendly task than simply becoming a waste product. The Plastiki is a 60 feet (18 m) catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled PET plastic and waste products. The craft was built using cradle to cradle design philosophies and features many renewable energy systems, including solar panels, wind and trailing propeller turbines, and bicycle generators. The frame was designed by Australian naval architect Andrew Dovell. The boat's name is a play on the 1947 Kon-Tiki raft used to sail across the Pacific by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, and its voyage roughly followed the same route.
The 'Plastiki' held together with sugar cane and cashew glue, is proof that trash can be turned into something useful, expedition leader David de Rothschild said. The six-member crew's journey to Australia, which began in San Francisco in March, was inspired by a United Nations Environment Programme report that highlighted the threat of plastic pollution to the world's oceans.