Imagine collecting thousands of empty plastic bottles, lashing them together to make a boat and sailing the thing from California to Australia, a journey of 11,000 miles through treacherous seas.
You’d have to be crazy, or trying to make a point. David de Rothschild is trying to make a point.
De Rothschild hopes his one-of-a-kind vessel, now being built on a San Francisco pier, will boost recycling of plastic bottles, which he says are a symbol of global waste. Except for the masts, which are metal, everything on the 60-foot catamaran is made from recycled plastic.
“It’s all sail power,” he said. “The idea is to put no kind of pollution back into the atmosphere, or into our oceans for that matter, so everything on the boat will be composted. Everything will be recycled. Even the vessel is going to end up being recycled when we finish.”
De Rothschild’s vessel, scheduled to set sail from San Francisco in April, is called the Plastiki. Its name is an homage of sorts to Thor Heyerdahl, the fabled Norwegian explorer who in 1947 sailed 4,300 miles across the Pacific on the Kon-Tiki, a raft made from balsa wood.
RTFA. Recycling plastic is a trip in and of itself. Building trades use 2×4’s made from recycled plastic and wall modules that used to be styrofoam cups. One of our shopping bags used to be plastic bottles.
The homage to Thor Heyerdahl is fitting for folks who don’t mind living parts of their lives in simpler, more traditional fashion. Especially when just a little bit of cyberhardware makes it possible. 🙂