Man to sail across Pacific on recycled ship

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2009 at 5:01 am

page1shipWith the amount of waste created in America today, people are discovering that recycling is a great way to cut down on the use of raw materials. For David de Rothschild, he is taking it one step further. Rothschild is building a building a sailing vessel that he plans to take across the ocean from San Francisco to Australia this April. The boat is being made almost completely from thousands of recycled plastic bottles.

“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,” Rothschild said in an interview with CNN.

The ship, named Plastiki by Rothschild, will have to cross over 11,000 miles on the Pacific Ocean before it reaches its destination in Sydney. His crew will consist of three permanent sailors in addition to himself, plus a group that will rotate between stops along the voyage. Rothschild plans to stop in Hawaii, Tuvalu, and Fiji on his way to Australia.

For Rothschild, the ship is meant to be a statement about the uses of recycled materials. “The idea is to take the Plastiki, break it down [after the voyage], and put it back into the system. So, it may come out being a jacket, a bag, more bottles. It’s infinitely recyclable,” he said. Even the electronic equipment on the boat will be charged by solar panels. On the whole the boat is made of 90% recycled materials. Only the masts from the ship were not made from recycled plastic.

For his part Rothschild has experience in adventuring. He is one of only a few people that have traveled through both the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps. He also founded the group Adventure Ecology, which uses expeditions like the one planned for the Plastiki to bring attention to environmental issues.

Although Rothschild is certainly experienced and dedicated, the integrity of any ship he constructs will be put to the test on his tip across the Pacific. His ultimate goal is for people to understand that recycling has its value and that much of the stuff we throw away still has a lot of use. As Rothschild put it, “That’s what this is all about — showcasing cradle-to-cradle products rather than cradle-to-grave.”


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