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David de Rothschild's boat The Plastiki completed its epic journey

Updated on September 7, 2015

The Plastiki boat of plastic ends its voyage

David de Rothschild's epic voyage on a plastic catamaran made from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles ended in success when the boat reached its final destination in Sydney Harbour on 26 July..

David and his crew, with Jo Royle as captain, had set off from San Francisco back in March, 2010, with the intention of crossing the Pacific Ocean and reaching Australia. Now they have achieved what they set out to do.

The Plastiki

The Plastiki
The Plastiki

The aim of the Plastiki Expedition

David de Rothschild's aim in making this voyage was to draw public attention to the very great danger to marine life and the environment from the pollution caused by plastic. Over 80% of the rubbish floating in the seas is plastic and what is worse is that it does not break down or bio-degrade. Plastic just breaks into smaller and smaller fragments that eventually become particles the size of sand or smaller.

Food chain

Plastic accumulates poisons and thus ends up in the food chain when eaten by marine animals. Ultimately these poisons end up in us.

Plastic bags swallowed by turtles and whales can kill these wonderful animals and plastic trash swallowed by sea birds and fed to their chicks kill the baby birds. Most albatrosses have swallowed plastic and thousands of babies have died after eating plastic.18 of the 22 recognised species of these magnificent birds are threatened with extinction.


In some places in the ocean there are six parts of plastic particles to one of natural plankton. Sea creatures are eating this poisonous rubbish and are also starving because of a lack of natural foods that should be there.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

There are five gyres in the oceans that accumulate plastic trash and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is one of these, is estimated to be bigger than the size of the State of Texas. That is an awful lot of plastic!

David de Rothschild set out to raise awareness about the ongoing danger from plastic refuse in the sea and the Plastiki went past the area in which the Great Pacific Garbage Patch lies. They had originally intended going through it but had to change course due to wind and weather conditions at the time.

Nevertheless, the Plastiki and its crew have succeeded in reaching their final destination and in getting their message heard. Millions of people who had never heard of these oceanic "garbage patches" now know about them. Millions of people who didn't realise that thrown away plastic is killing the animals in the sea are now aware of this.

The four Rs

David is hoping that people will cut down on their use of single-use throwaway plastic and to abandon the use of plastic if possible. He is calling for the three R's to be put into practice: Re-use, Recycle and Refuse. Adding a fourth R he is asking us to Rethink!

The Plastiki was kept afloat by the 12,500 re-used and recycled plastic water bottles. These bottles are one of the main sources of pollution in the oceans, and one answer is to buy and use a stainless steel drinking bottle that can be refilled instead of buying water in bottles.

David de Rothschild said that he would be using his name and this expedition to get the story into the world's media and he has succeeded. Millions of people worldwide have been following the voyage via Internet sites about the Plastiki and via very many articles and interviews that have gone out on TV, on the radio and in newspapers and magazines.

David is still doing more interviews about his mission and although the Plastiki reached its destination this does not mean that everything ends but, as David says: "the Plastiki acting as a metaphor for change will continue."

A big Thank You to all our Followers!

© 2010 Steve Andrews


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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Sounds great material for hubbing!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      I will. I have lived a life "doing it, rather than wishing I had done it." An example: I slept with electric eels in the Cook Islands... Stuck in the middle of a small stream in a steep canyon, laying of a flat rock, I watched the blue flashes all night. I had waded in this stream, eased myself over a waterfall in the dark, not knowing how far down, or what the water was landing on (rocks, or a pool)- not knowing there were electric eels in the water.. When I saw the blue-flashes, that was then end of wading in the water. I waited until daylight. Wow, was I surprised to see how dense the jungle had become... I will do a hub on this and my "Okie" stories I know because it is my heritage...

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      That's really interesting, Dallas, and maybe you should either write those books or do hubs about it all?

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      It was a point underscored by their success! I attempted to sail from Fiji to Sydney on a 50' bamboo raft I built to publicize the fact that Fiji had not lost its "roots" of seafaring skills, "bilibili" (raft) building skills. I met the Prime minister's nephew Rob, and his uncle (Major-General Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka the instigator of two military coups that shook Fiji in 1987). Although I was not successful (looking at a globe seems simple: go south 6 weeks and make a right hand turn), I have perhaps a couple of books worth of experiences... Men crying, panicked, my captain yelling, "What do I do" as we banged against something in the dark around mid-night in the middle of the ocean...

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, KKalmes, and yes, the plastic is getting everywhere in the oceans. David talks about it in the following interview with him and the crew, how when he went swimming miles and miles away from land there were bits of plastic in the water:

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you Bard, I am one of the ignorant who knew nothing about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and five gyres until recently and thanx to the plastiki voyage.

      The enormity of the problem has finally hit home and even though I always wash and recylce plastic, I am no longer confident that it isn't finding its way to the bottom of the ocean, so I am buying less and less in plastic bottles.

      Great hub... thumbs up and awesome because we don't have an excellent rating.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for posting, TOF!

    • The Old Firm profile image

      The Old Firm 

      8 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

      Perhaps if we dumped our plastic in Japan, and dumped their Whalers in the Pacific, the problem would be solved.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for posting, Lilly! Yes, I agree - this is approaching the tipping point! We all need to act!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      8 years ago from Central Oregon

      This is a story of those passionate about our Oceans, god Knows we are reaching the tipping point, we must change the way we treat our planet...


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