Ship made of plastic bottles completes trans-Pacific voyage

Way back in March we told you about the Plastiki, a ship made almost entirely out of plastic bottles, that was setting out from San Francisco to complete a crossing of the Pacific Ocean. The plan was for the ship, and her crew, to sail to Sydney, Australia, by way of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, in an effort to raise awareness of the impact that we are having on the Earth’s environment, most notably the oceans. Yesterday, after spending 128 days at sea, and covering more than 8300 nautical miles, the Plastiki sailed into Sydney Harbor, completing her voyage at last.

The ship is the brain child of explorer and environmentalist David de Rothschild, who came up with the idea to build a boat out of plastic bottles more than four years ago. At times, de Rothschild, who is the founder of Adventure Ecology, wondered if he would ever see his dream become reality, but eventually construction of the boat commenced, and the project began to take shape. When it was finally finished, the Plastiki had more than 12,500 bottles incorporated into its hull, not to mention a host of other environmentally friendly gadgets like solar panels and wind generators, added to its final design.

One of the main missions of the expedition was to visit the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge collection of garbage that has accumulated in a single place in the Pacific Ocean. The GPGP is estimated to be larger than the state of Texas and continuing to grow all the time, as more and more waste is dumped into the ocean and ends up deposited in this strange gyre. The Patch is a testament to the damage that is being done to the environment and was quite a sobering sight to the crew of the ship.

Joining de Rothschild on the voyage were Skipper Jo Royle, Co-Skipper David Thomson, and the rest of the crew which consisted of Olav Heyerdahl, Graham Hill, Luca Babini, Matthew Grey, Max Jourdan, Singeli Agnew and Vern Moen. Well done crew!

[Photo credit: The Plastiki via Flickr]