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Plastiki Self-Reinforced PET Boat Launched in San Francisco

  • Wednesday, 17th March 2010
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

Adventure Ecology founder and environmentalist David de Rothschild has unveiled the Plastiki, a pioneering 60ft catamaran made from approximately 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and self-reinforced PET (srPET)..

The crew is making final preparations to embark on an adventure taking them 11,000 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney. The Plastiki will be drawing attention to the health of our oceans, and in particular the large amounts of plastic debris, by showcasing waste as a resource and demonstrating real world solutions through the design and construction of the Plastiki.

The Plastiki is engineered almost entirely from 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles that provide 68% of the boat’s buoyancy, with a super structure from srPET. Adventure Ecology was introduced to srPET through Aptiform, providing a significant amount of initial advice on the materials and manufacturing processes.

The Plastiki began her adventure nearly four years ago after taking inspiration from a report issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called ‘Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Deep Waters and High Seas’ and Thor Heyerdahl’s epic 1947 expedition, The Kon-Tiki.

During the three month voyage, the Plastiki will explore a number of environmental hotspots such as, environmentally vulnerable island nations, damaged coral reefs and the challenges faced by our acidifying oceans and marine debris, in particular plastic pollution, in our oceans. The Plastiki team will gather information by using a combination of visual media and scientific data to map and measure ecological conditions along the entire route. There will be daily scientific readings including wind directions, water temperature and water samples as well as underwater photography. The gathered information is intended to provide valuable measured data on environmental trends, and create a story across the Pacific.

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