Today’s Solutions: June 09, 2023

British adventurer will sail across the Pacific in a 60-foot catamaran made of 12,000 plastic bottles and other recycled materials.

Marco Visscher | May 2009 issue

According to David de Rothschild, the plastic bottle is the icon of the modern lifestyle. “It costs an awful lot of energy to produce and transport; we enjoy its existence for a couple of minutes; and after we’ve used it, we throw it away and don’t bother where it goes.” A lot of those bottles end up in the ocean, where they wreak all kinds of environmental havoc. So de Rothschild is taking a bunch of bottles to the ocean, too: not to dump them, but to make a point. He’s building a 60-foot catamaran made from some 12,000 plastic bottles and other recycled plastic waste products, and he intends to sail the vessel around the world to demonstrate what recycling can do.
The 30-year-old British adventurer and polar explorer is still working on the Plastiki at a pier on San Francisco’s waterfront. His boat is named after the Kon-Tiki raft that crossed the Pacific in 1947. The craft’s skeleton and cabin are built of self-reinforcing polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a strong woven fabric made from used plastic. With a small crew of sailors and scientists, the Plastiki will embark this summer for Sydney, with de Rothschild and his team stopping along the way at ecologically fragile locations to clean up beaches and talk at schools. “The only worry I have is that I already get seasick in a bathtub,” de Rothschild says. “But if you’re passionate about something, I believe you just need to speak up. When we set sail, we’ll inspire new dreams to take recycling a step further.”

Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Microparticle therapy shows promise in reversing multiple sclerosis

A pioneering study demonstrated a novel microparticle therapy's ability to reverse nerve cell damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) in mice. This ground-breaking medication not only opens ...

Read More

Construction project completes the world’s first 3D printed two-story home

Considered one of the largest sources of environmental pollution in the world, it’s no secret that the construction industry is in need of a ...

Read More

Rotterdam becomes home to the world’s largest floating office

While Rotterdam is typically known for hosting Europe’s biggest port, the second largest Dutch city is also famous as a forerunning innovator in climate ...

Read More

For the first time ever, Greece meets energy demands with 100% renewables

The other week, Greece celebrated an exciting milestone! All of the country’s electricity needs were met by renewable energy for the first time, as ...

Read More