David De Rothschild and Crew Unveil the Finished Plastiki


Image via Plastiki crew

We've been following the progress of the Plastiki for over a year now. In case you've forgotten, it's the pet project of eco-adventurer David de Rothschild and it's a huge boat made from recycled plastic bottles. The vessel has been under construction and late last week, the crew finally unveiled it in the San Francisco Bay. This is the start point for what will be an 11,000 mile trek to Sydney, highlighting the problem of plastic as both a pollutant and design issue. Made from 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles, the recycled srPET is a strong, bouyant material. The mast is made from reclaimed aluminum irrigation pipe and the sail is hand-made from reycled PET as well. To top it off, the secondary bonding is reinforced using a newly developed organic glue made from cashew nuts and sugar cane. It's a very green boat, and its credentials don't stop with the construction.


Image via Plastiki

The Plastiki is also an off-grid vessel, relying primarily on renewable energy systems including from solar panels, wind and trailing propeller turbines, and bicycle generators, and utilizing a urine-to-water recovery and rain water catchment system for fresh water sources. Finally, it comes complete with a hydroponic rotating cylinder garden.

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Right now, the crew is working on final preparations for their sail across the Pacific ocean. The trip will highlight not only all the plastic in our oceans, but also that waste - especially plastic waste - is a fundamental design flaw and we have to rethink waste as a resource.

Here's de Rothschild talking to TreeHugger's Graham Hill about how the ship is made.

Plastiki from Glenn McElhose on Vimeo.


More on The Plastiki
David de Rothschild Shows Graham Hill Ways to Turn Plastic From Waste to Resource
Plastiki Launches Cool Toy Model of Plastic Bottle Boat
David de Rothschild and The Real Cost of Living (Video)

Tags: Plastics | Pollution | Waste | Zero Waste