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Plastiki Nears Sydney

Expedition leader David de Rothschild hopes the Plastiki Expedition will encourage people to really think about their plastic usage.

© 2010 Plastiki Expedition

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with the crew of Plastiki, the 60-ft eco-catamaran made from 12,500 plastic soda bottles that sailed out the Golden Gate on March 20 on the first leg of its mission to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Some scoffed at the admittedly ridiculous-looking boat, insisting it would fall apart or lose the carbon dioxide-filled bottles that comprise 70% of its flotation. It’s done neither, and is now just a little over 200 miles from its final destination of Sydney, Australia.

Plastiki skipper Jo Royle has done well in posting sailor-friendly logs over the course of the voyage.

© 2010 Plastiki Expedition

Over the past 119 days and nearly 7,800 miles at sea, Plastiki has not had an easy time of it. Most recently, the crew has been dealing with 25-ft seas and 60-knot winds — and Plastiki is holding up admirably, as she was designed to do. What fascinates us as sailors is the potential for srPET — the main component in Plastiki‘s build — to replace other, less-recyclable materials, such as fiberglass. Expedition mastermind David de Rothschild admits that eliminating all plastic from common usage is unrealistic, but by successfully using a recyclable material in a completely new way — say, building an ocean-going vessel with it — perhaps minds will be opened to new possibilities.

Getting pounded by South Pacific waves may not be that cold, but it certainly isn’t comfortable. The crew hopes to be tucked safely in Sydney Harbor in the next week or so.

© 2010 Plastiki Expedition

Through the expedition’s website, the crew have posted fascinating blogs, photos and videos in an effort to educate the world on just how polluted the sea is. A worthy mission well-executed.

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