This past weekend, the Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran buoyed by 12,500 reused plastic bottles, launched from San Francisco’s Pier 31. The brainchild of eco-warrior David de Rothschild and the product of four years of construction, planning, and media and sponsor outreach, Rothschild’s crew will take the Plastiki on a three-month tour covering over 7500 miles through the Pacific Ocean.
The vessel is not actually completely composed of plastic bottles. As Camille Rickets for GreenBeat reported in February 2010,
While actual empty soda bottles are stacked densely in the Plastiki’s two hulls to keep it afloat, they are encased in a non-recycled plastic casing. Apparently recycled plastic would not be strong enough to make the ambitious journey, though it was important to Rothschild that it be recyclable in the long run. Aside from that, most of the other materials were previously used, including the aluminum mast, which was formerly an irrigation pipe.