Press Releases July 2010 - Back on land: 'Bottle boat' Plastiki completes its voyage across the Pacific - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
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Back on land: 'Bottle boat' Plastiki completes its voyage across the Pacific

Message in a bottle to beat waste has global impact to create change

After sailing more than 8,000 nautical miles and spending 128 days crossing the Pacific, the world's largest ocean, in a boat made of 12,500 plastic PET bottles, the Plastiki expedition and her crew have safely and successfully reached their planned destination of Sydney to cheers of welcome and support.

Sydney/Nairobi, 26 July 2010 - Arriving at Sydney Heads at 11.10am local time with a 12 knot south south easterly breeze, the Plastiki triumphantly sailed into Sydney Harbour to cheers of welcome and support from a small spectator flotilla.. The historic expedition was completed in four legs : San Francisco ? Kiribati - Western Samoa - New Caledonia before reaching the Australian Coast (Mooloolaba) on Monday 19 July and continuing on to Sydney.

"It's an incredible feeling to finally arrive in Sydney. We had great faith in the design and construction of Plastiki and while many people doubted we'd make it, we have proved that a boat made from plastic bottles can stand up to the harsh conditions of the Pacific." expedition leader, David de Rothschild said.

De Rothschild, 31 from the United Kingdom, paid tribute to his fellow adventurers, Jo Royle (Skipper), David Thomson (Co-Skipper), Graham Hill (Founder of Treehugger.com), Olav Heyerdahl, Matthew Grey, Luca Babini (Photographer), Vern Moen (Myoo Media Film maker), Max Jourdan and Singeli Agnew (National Geographic Film makers) for their skill and commitment during the voyage.

"Jo and the rest of the crew did a remarkable job sailing the Plastiki safely across the Pacific and it is due to their collective efforts that we've been able to raise global awareness of the issue of plastic waste in the world's oceans.

If there's waste, it's badly designed in the first place, and we need to start taking a serious look at the way we produce and design every product we use in our lives," De Rothschild said.

The Plastiki was officially welcomed by Sydney's Deputy Lord Mayor, Phillip Black and the US Ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich when she docked at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour. Plastiki will be on public display for the next month at the ANMM.

Over four months ago on March 20, 2010, under the watchful eye of a global audience, an inspiring yet experimental and innovative one-of-a-kind catamaran set sail under the shadow of San Francisco's world famous Golden Gate Bridge. Carrying a crew of six intrepid explorers, the Plastiki set out on an epic and demanding mission described by the San Francisco chronicle as the "adventure of the century".



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Further Resources

UNEP: Plastiki webpage

Achim congratulates the Plastiki crew on boat's arrival in Sydney

Video of the link-up between David de Rothschild and UNEP Executive Director

UNEP reports on marine litter

Plastiki official website

 

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