Recycled Plastiki Arrives in Sydney

No one said they couldn’t or shouldn’t do it but they did it anyway, making some nice enviro points along the way.

The Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran made out of more than 12,000 recycled plastic water bottles and its 10-member crew arrived in Sydney, Australia Monday after sailing some 8,000 nautical miles in 130 days.

The Plastiki Expedition’s intent was to show that trash – especially plastic water bottles – can be made useful, to publicize the huge area of plastic trash and other debris known as the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch and to demonstrate a new approach to boat-building, namely one without fiberglass.

A major goal of the voyage from San Francisco to Sydney was to draw attention to the health, or lack of it, of the world’s oceans. The vessel’s itinerary brought it close to Hawaii, the Bikini Atoll, and the Tarawa Islands. Its course also followed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where floating plastic covers an area twice the size of Texas.

David de Rothschild, the youthful heir to the European banking fortune, environmentalist, adventurer and head of Adventure Ecology, lead the Plastiki Expedition. 3P’s story on the Plastiki launch was published in March.

Plastiki’s cabin was also home to Skipper Jo Royle, Co-Skipper David Thomson, Olav Heyerdahl, Graham Hill, Luca Babini, Matthew Grey, Max Jourdan, Singeli Agnew and Vern Moen.

Its hull is made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles filled with carbon dioxide. Nearly everything on the boat from the hull to the sails is made from recycled materials.

Solar panels, wind and sea turbines generates power. It also has an on-board exercise bike to provide extra power for electronics, including a laptop. An onboard hydroponic garden provided fresh greens for the crew, including

The catamaran’s frame uses a new plastic product called self-reinforced polyethylene terephthalate, or srPET. Developed in Europe, it is similar in strength to fiberglass, but unlike fiberglass it is made of 100 percent recyclable plastic.

Judging from a photo slideshow the crew published, another benefit of the expedition was to show that an 8,000 catamaran-trip across the Pacific is a great way to lose weight.

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