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Pattaya Daily News

27 July 2010 :: 15:07:23 pm 33618

Plastic Bottle Boat “Plastiki” Finishes Pacific Voyage

A yacht made almost entirely of plastic bottles and recycled materials has finished its arduous 15,000km journey across the Pacific on Monday. The boat sailed into Sydney Harbour completing a 4-month long journey, which began in San Francisco.
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Australia, the 26th of July 2010: The Plastiki is a catamaran built using some 12,500 plastic bottles organically glued to the structure of two pontoons, while almost all other main parts and surfaces of the ship have been constructed from recycled materials. The Plastiki began its expedition in March, taking four months to complete its journey across the Pacific.

The voyage, undertaken to help raise awareness of the dangers posed to the environment by plastic waste, totalled approximately 15,000km’s and passed the islands of Western Samoa and New Caledonia before reaching Sydney. The trip also encompassed an expanse of sea known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP).

Also known as the Pacific Trash Vortex, the GPGP is a giant patch of water between California and Hawaii that is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge, and other debris. The rubbish has remained in the location having become trapped in ocean currents, known as the North Pacific Gyre. The exact size of the GPGP is not known and is hard to estimate, although scientists speculate that it could be as large as the American state of Texas (696,000km2).

David de Rothschild, the expedition leader and environmentalist stated to a gathering of hundreds in Sydney Harbour, “It has been an extraordinary adventure.” He further mentioned that a UN report warning of the dangers posed by plastic waste to the world’s oceans was the inspiration for the voyage.

The boat, named after the Kon-Tiki raft sailed across the Pacific by Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl in 1947, will now go on display in Sydney’s Maritime Museum.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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