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article imageBoat made from 12,500 plastic bottles arrives in Sydney

By Laura Trowbridge     Jul 26, 2010 in Environment
A 60-foot catamaran made out of 12,500 recycled plastic bottles sailed 8,000 nautical miles from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia in four months.
The Plastiki set sail from San Francisco on March 20, journeying along the Pacific Ocean for the past four months in order to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic waste.
Arriving in Sydney's port outside of the Australian National Maritime Museum, British environmentalist David de Rothschild, who skippered the boat, told Sky News: "It has been an extraordinary adventure."
Plastiki spokesman Kim McKay told Telegraph: "This is culmination of four years planning, so it's a very exciting day."
De Rothschild, 31, said he had read a United Nations report back in 2006 that said pollution, particularly plastic waste, was "seriously threatening the world's oceans."
He came up with the idea of building a boat to show how garbage could be recycled and reused.
"The six-member crew lived in a cabin of just 20 feet by 15 feet, took saltwater showers, and survived on a diet of dehydrated and canned food, supplemented with the occasional vegetable from their small on-board garden. The boat is fully recyclable, and is powered in part by solar panels and windmills."
The team had been planning to recycle the Plastiki after the completion of its journey, but de Rothschild said they are now "thinking of keeping it intact, and using it as a way of enlightening people to the power of recycling."
"There were many times when people looked at us and said, 'you're crazy.' I think it drove us on to say, 'Anything's possible'," said de Rothschild.
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