Plastiki, a 60ft catamaran made from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles is due to set sail from San Francisco to Sydney, early in 2010. The object of the four month voyage is to highlight the Eastern Garbage Patch, a vast floating island of washed up, toxic marine pollution in the centre of the Pacific Ocean. This area, six times the size of the UK, is where currents converge and marine debris - 90% of it plastic - gathers.
The idea is the brainchild of David de Rothschild, founder of Adventure Ecology, and was inspired by Thor Heyerdahl's famed 1947 journey from Peru to Fiji on the balsa raft Kon-Tiki. Plastiki was conceived after the British explorer read a 2006 United Nations study estimating that 46,000 pieces of plastic are floating on every square mile of ocean. When he reaches Sydney, de Rothschild plans to recycle the vessel.
The project is also a showcase for the technology that can be created by recycling.The yacht has solar panels, a composting lavatory, a hydroponic garden to grow food and two exercise bicycles to power communication systems. Read an interview with de Rothschild here and see a video about the making of Plastiki here.