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Crossing the sea on a bottle raftDavid de Rothschild is preparing to sail from San Francisco to Australia in a 60-foot vessel made of 12,000 recycled bottles. Among other things, he is hoping to convince the world to take better care of its waste.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 [ Saw ] ^M00:00:07 >> From a distance, it looks just like another boat being built on Pier 31 along San Francisco's waterfront. But this is no ordinary catamaran. >> Very simply, the idea is to construct a boat made entirely of plastic bottles. We've got ten thousand of these. These will be used in the hull, and that will make up the bottom of the Plastiki. The 60-foot catamaran called Plastiki is named after a Norwegian adventurer, Thor Heyerdahl, and his Kon-Tiki raft expedition in the 1940s. But this raft is made of recycled soft drink bottles. >> Basically what we're doing is adding dry ice to these recycled bottles, and inflating it to a certain pressure -- pressure range in order to float the Plastiki boat. >> The decks and cabin are built from a woven fabric made from reused plastic. >> Now, what we've been exploring with is bio composites, bio blues, biopolymers, things that are gonna be positive, not just for this project, but have ongoing implications. When you think that the boat industry is very reliant on toxics like epoxies that have a massive impact on the environment. If we can [inaudible] a clean substance, that's a huge win. >> How will you be sure that this is gonna work? >> We're not sure. That's why it's an adventure. >> The mastermind behind this unusual boat is David de Rothschild. He is an adventurer, and one of the few who has been both to the North and South Poles. Now, he wants action to save the planet. >> I think the time has come that we start to actually act and create solutions. If we really want to move from planet .10 to planet .20, we need to really start taking action and stop just talking. >> What if it fails? >> It's not -- it hasn't failed. It can't fail. It's impossible to fail. Right now, we've succeeded already. >> Why? >> Because we've created materials that have never been seen before, never been used before. >> How good a swimmer are you? >> I'm a great swimmer, actually. I really am. You know, I sort of think that, you know, that's gonna be my biggest strength. >> In just a few months, David de Rothschild and his crew will try to sail this strange catamaran across the Pacific Ocean, all the way to Australia. This could either be a huge sensation, or a very long swim. From Pier 31 in San Francisco, this is Erik Palm for CNET News. ^M00:02:22 [ Music ]