British explorer to set sail on plastic-bottle boat

March 10th, 2009 - 1:59 pm ICT by ANI  

National Geographic

Washington, March 10 (ANI): British explorer, environmentalist, and celebrity David de Rothschild, is all set to go on an 11,000-mile (17,703-kilometer) journey across the Pacific Ocean at the end of March, in a boat made of plastic bottles.

According to a report in National Geographic Magazine, the boat, which is a 60-foot (18-meter) catamaran called Plastiki, has been created from a special composite of recycled plastic.

De Rothschild will steer the fiberglass-like frame, made buoyant by the addition of 12,000 two-liter plastic bottles along the hulls, from San Francisco to Sydneywith several island stopson an exploration of plastic litterthe most common in the type of ocean pollution.

The expedition is also a way to highlight how materials can be re-used, said de Rothschild, whos a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and founder of the nonprofit Adventure Ecology.

Its about articulating solutions. We are showcasing smart materials, and all of these have an effect that can go much further, he added.

For instance, there may be uses for this type of recycled plastic in commercial boats, surfboards, cars, and more.

When Plastikis voyage is over, the boat will be broken down and turned into emergency shelters, shipping pellets, clothes, and even more bottles.

Fifteen billion pounds (7 billion kilograms) of plastic are produced annually in the U.S., but only 1 billion pounds (.5 billion kilograms) are recycled, according to adventure Ecology.

A lot of the bottles that arent repurposed end up floating out to the sea.

The Great Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, where ocean currents shepherd much of this debris, is twice the size of Texas.
As we get more and more urban were going to have be more clever with our waste stream, said Nathaniel Corum, a Plastiki architect and the expeditions sustainability consultant. (ANI)

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