San Francisco recently saw the unveiling of the Plastiki, a boat constructed of 12,500 2-liter plastic bottles that will be embarking on a 7,500 mile journey to Sydney this spring. Built by Adventure Ecology and captained by David de Rothschild, the vessel will brave the waters surrounding the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ in an attempt to bring awareness to the mounting plastic debris floating in our Oceans. If the 50 knots of wind and rain at the unveiling last Friday, followed by tsunami warnings post-earthquake in Chile the following day, are any indication of what the crew could face on their voyage, we wish them luck!
David de Rothschild, adventurer, environmentalist and founder of Adventure Ecology, became inspired (or perhaps perturbed) by a 2006 report issued by UNEP. Called ‘Action Urged to Avoid Deep Trouble in the Deep Seas,’ the report contained the fact that plastic debris outnumbers plankton in many of the world’s oceans. Adventure Ecology’s ‘message in a bottle’ is that we are all responsible for plastic waste because we all use plastic, and despite the fact that much of the plastic we use is 100% recyclable, less than 20% of all plastic bottles ever reach a recycling facility and 4 out of every 5 plastic bottles end up in the landfill. It would appear that the other 1 out of 5 ends up in our Oceans.