On board the Plastiki

Graham Hill (left) and David de Rothschild, relax below deck

Two of the world’s leading environmental campaigners have passed the halfway point on their voyage across the Pacific in a boat made from plastic bottles.

Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com and David de Rothschild who runs Adventure Ecology, set off on the journey to draw attention to the phenomenal rate at which plastic turns to waste and the way plastic is choking our oceans.

An area of great interest to the expeditioners is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a massive sea of garbage sitting just below the surface of the Pacific.

“I wanted to get people to think sensibly that waste isn’t really waste, but merely inefficient design, and that we can turn it into a resource,” de Rothschild, 31, said by satellite telephone as the boat sailed west from San Francisco. “Every day, we are seeing bits of trash floating past us. They look like jellyfish, but then we realize they are plastic bags.”

The Pacific is littered with trash, including one mass of swirling plastic at least 1,600 km. across, said Charles Moore, an oceanographer who identified the conglomeration in 1999. Marine debris kills sea turtles, seals and sea birds and destroys coral reefs, said Timothy Ragen, executive director of the US Marine Mammal Commission.

About 657,708,937 million kilograms of beverage plastic was recycled in the US in 2008, yielding potential savings of $348 million, according to the American Chemistry Council in Arlington, Virginia. The recycled material costs an average of 24 cents a pound less than virgin plastic, according to Plastics News, a trade publication in Akron, Ohio.

The pair can be found blogging via the Plastiki web site, and they will arrive in Sydney next month.

7 Responses

  1. Rothschild, Yes I know he bears the name of the Red Shield but really. It could be like one of those type of kids, you know them the Christopher McCandeless Kids who don’t want to go to college instead want to draw their own paths. or as I call it color outside the lines.

  2. When I was a kid I used to make boats for my barbies out of 2-liter bottles and the old glass coke bottles with a cork shoved in the mouth. I’m thrilled to see someone use this concept for a bigger than life project with a real message. Rothschild’s have always been ingenious with harnessing resources for human use even if some of those came with consequence. I praise Mr. Rothschild in his effort and hope to see more projects in the future.

  3. The rothschild family are the ones influencing the policies being implemented today all over the world. They are using this stragler as an excuse why we should all generate our own electricity by riding stationary bikes, and raise the cost of energy which they profit from. Financial slavery if you ask my opinion. Think outside the box and open your eyes….

  4. Id be suspicious of anyone bearing the name of the Red Shield myself but maybe he is just a genuine man concerned about humanity and the future of Mother Earth.

  5. I’m a little suspicious. Maybe the Plastiki project will draw some attention to the problem…but when I saw it reported it was presented as a way to recycle plastic!

  6. But give him credit, if he is of the dynasty he is trying to make up or at least make a difference. Little green movement, better than sitting by complaining and doing nothing.

  7. Is noone else suspicious of David de Rothschild ie of the Rothschild dynasty ie who have funded most of the problems we have today.

    I guess you are to bamboozled my your little green movement.

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