The Plastiki: Environmentally Friendly Sailing
No, it’s no joke, there actually is one.
Better yet, it sailed half-way across the world from San Francisco,USA to Australia.
Born as an idea by Adventure Ecology- a unique initiative with a mission to educate, entertain and raise awareness of environmental and social issues whilst driving innovative real world solutions-, the Plastiki (ship’s name) was inspired by a report issued by the UNEP called ‘Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Deep Waters and High Seas’ and Thor Heyerdahl’s epic 1947 expedition, The Kon-Tiki. Made out of recycled plastic and plastic waste, the Plastiki set out on a compelling and pioneering expedition not only to inform, but captivate, activate and educate the world that waste is fundamentally a form of inefficient design.
The Plastiki began her adventure nearly four years ago to combat as well as shed the light on the following facts; some of which we think you might not be aware of:
- It is estimated that almost all of the marine pollution in the world is comprised of plastic materials. The average proportion varied between 60% and 80% of total marine pollution.
- In many regions, plastic materials constitute as much as 90 to 95% of the total amount of marine debris.
- Scientists estimate that every year at least 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die when they entangle themselves in plastic pollution or ingest it.
- According to Project Aware, 15 billion pounds of plastic are produced in the U.S. every year, and only 1 billion pounds are recycled. It is estimated that in excess of 38 billion plastic bottles and 25 million Styrofoam cups end up in landfill and although plastic bottles are 100% recyclable, on average only 20% are actually recycled.
Accordingly, the Plastiki’s mission is essentially to encourage the world to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink more of the planets natural resources; it’s about delivering a spectacular global “Message in a Bottle”.
Here are some exciting facts about the Plastiki Ship itself:
- The Plastiki is engineered almost entirely from 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles that provide 68% of the boat’s buoyancy.
- The mast is a reclaimed aluminum irrigation pipe.
- The one-of-a-kind sail is hand-made from recycled PET cloth.
- The secondary bonding is reinforced using a newly developed organic glue made from cashew nuts and sugar cane.
- The Plastiki is ‘off-the-grid’ relying primarily on renewable energy systems including; solarpanels, wind and trailing propeller turbines, bicycle generators, a urine to water recovery and rain water catchment system and a hydroponic rotating cylinder garden.
If the Plastiki is not the epitome of recyclable waste, we don’t know what is. It’s our favorite Eco-Awareness Initiative around. For more information regarding The Plastiki, check out their website.
- Khaleejesque. Images: The Plastiki’s Official Site