“The oceans are getting a lot of attention, but to be honest with you the problem is not getting better at the rate we’d like it to be,” says Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox, officer in charge of the North America office of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which issued a report on the oceans that inspired de Rothschild’s Plastiki voyage.
The 2006 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report, “Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Deep Waters and High Seas,” said that “over 46,000 pieces of plastic litter are floating on every square mile of ocean today.”
“It’s the most dangerous type of litter in the ocean,” says Ms. Guilbaud-Cox, as it’s blamed for killing as many as 1 million sea birds and hundreds of thousands of sea mammals annually.
De Rothschild, who the UNEP named a “climate hero” last year, certainly has the means and charisma to boost awareness about the problem of plastics in the ocean with this adventure that’s part showmanship, part experiment in social media activism, and part eco-ingenuity,
The Plastiki, which takes its name partially from its plastic origins but also from the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition, is not only buoyed by about 12,000 two-liter plastic bottles, it’s constructed with recyclable plastic, equipped with solar panels, bicycle-powered generators, and a water recovery system.
It's undoubtedly the greenest high-tech vessel the ocean has seen.