How do you raise awareness for the 73.9 million pounds of plastic floating in our oceans?
David de Rothschild had a pretty kickass idea about this.
He built a boat out of 12.500 two liter plastic PET bottles, he called it The Plastiki, and sailed it 8000 Nautical miles (around 15.000km) from San Francisco to Sydney!
David de Rothschild (born 25 August 1978) is a British adventurer, ecologist, and environmentalist and head of Sculpt the Future Foundation, a charity that supports innovations and creativity in social and environmental impact efforts. He is the youngest of three children, and a direct descendent of the migthy Rothschild banking family of England.
Inspite of his nobel descent de Rothschild was a very active and studious guy getting himself a 2in1 B.Sc (Hons) in Political Science and Information Systems from Oxford Brookes. In 2002, de Rothschild studied at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, London where he received an advanced Diploma in Natural Medicine. By age 20, de Rothschild had started his own music merchandising business and sold it. In 2001 he bought a 1,100 acre organic farm in New Zealand, and was invited to take part in a Polar expedition. This experience turned de Rothschild into an enterprising eco-adventurer
In the late 2000s de Rothschild developed a mission to raise awareness of the Pacific Garbage Patch, in which he invented a new form of sustainable ship at a lab on Pier 31 in San Francisco, called the “Plastiki”. It was named after the Kon-Tiki, a raft used by Norway’s Pacific explorer Thor Heyerdahl, in an adventure previously covered on Kickasstrips (here).
Rothschild built a 60-foot catamaran from approx. 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and a unique recyclable technology called Seretex. Seretex, which was developed by de Rothschild and his team, was meant to reuse PET in a novel way, finding new uses for the waste product. ThePlastiki and its crew sailed over 8,000 nautical miles (around 15.000km) across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney.
Leaving SanFran in March 2010, the Plastiki successfully completed its journey to Sydney in 130 days, arriving there on 26 July of that same year. Along with the Plastiki de Rothschild launched a platform for community interaction and sharing stories called “Myoo” (the name comes from the pronunciation of “community”).
After the trip The Plastiki was named one of 2010’s fifty best inventions by Time Magazine.
The construction of the ship was notable not only for its use of recycled plastic bottles as a primary building material, but also using reclaimed and environmentally friendly materials throughout. In April, 2010 he told Good Morning America: “Every part of the boat, even down to the glue we used to stick the boat together, [it] is a glue we made and had to engineer specifically for this project. It’s made of cashew nuts and sugar….every part of the boat – from the interior with reclaimed materials, reclaimed fabric, is all trying to do our best and showcasing there are a lot of solutions out there”.
Ever since that time de Rothschild has been dedicating himself to environmentalism, community and charity work and the empowerment of those fields. He founded Mpact, which focuses on teaching corporations and organizations on how to access the most zealous community contributors and volunteers, and how to provide them with the tools they need to succeed on their behalf
His environmental foundation Sculpt the Future took the initiative of spreading environmental education through the use of adventure ecology making him one of the world’s most environmentally dedicated adventurers.
Kickass trip by a man with a kickass environmental mission!