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Plastiki

A boat made from recycled plastic investigates waste at sea on a journey from SF to Sydney

by Karen Day in Culture on 01 March 2010

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A 60-foot catamaran comprised of recycled PET and reclaimed plastic bottles, Plastiki proves the power of imagination and ingenuity with British eco-adventurist David de Rothschild at the helm.

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More than just a boat, the Plastiki symbolizes how waste can really become a resource, taking on the intimidating task of sailing from San Francisco to Sydney. De Rothschild, inspired by a news story about the "garbage patch" floating in the Pacific Ocean, spent the last several years developing the Plastiki along with "a handpicked crew of leading scientists, adventurers and creatives."

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Now nearly ready to set sail, the Plastiki and its team have been kitted out by San Francisco-based duo Nice Collective—who decorated the interior of the boat and designed some gear for the crew—as well as Shortomatic, who designed a pair of "Beat Waste" board shorts.

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The range created by Nice Collective includes flags, lighting, storage solutions, tools and clothing—all speaking to the romanticism of the open ocean while performing as functional equipment. Using Jacques Cousteau and Buckminster Fuller as sources of inspiration, Plastiki even incorporates a a geodesic dome as its cabin structure.

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The Plastiki expedition involves stopping at a host of environmental problem areas, beginning with the garbage patch off the coast of California. Other hot spots undergoing the team's inspection include damaged coral reefs and soon-to-be-flooded islands. The Plastiki website makes it possible to join in on their long journey, with live tracking of the boat and up-to-date information and videos of the team's findings.

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