"My brother wonders why I can't just throw an egg at the prime minister," says de Rothschild, "but we live in a world obsessed by events, and we have to create events to make people sit up and notice."That's the sort of thinking that inspired de Rothschild and three others to set off in early March in an attempt to make the first British crossing of the Arctic Ocean, from Russia to Canada via the North Pole.De Rothschild calls this Mission 1 for Adventure Ecology, the brand name he's given his environmental crusade.De Rothschild named his boat , the legendary balsa raft that Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Peru to Polynesia in 1947.(Two of Heyerdahl's grandchildren may join de Rothschild during the sail.) There's been a small mountain of media coverage since de Rothschild announced the project, in early 2007, and pretty much every story starts out by noting that he is rich and bearded.
The crew’s mission was to launch in March, 2010 and navigate more than four months and 8,300 nautical miles to a number of ecologically threatened regions to showcase how waste can be used as a resource and how big of an environmental impact waste (in this instance, plastic) has on oceans.Along the way they'll pass through the Eastern Garbage Patch, a slowly twirling vortex of suspended plastic bits in the North Pacific that's been estimated at twice the size of Texas.At stopover islands on the route, he'll pick up and drop off temporary crew members scientists, writers, artists, entrepreneurs, athletes, even Hollywood celebrities, if they have environmental credibility who will help him market his message.Inspired by the famous Kon-Tiki expedition, David decided to build a one-of-a-kind expedition vessel incorporating that ubiquitous item of rubbish, the plastic bottle, and sail it across the Pacific to encourage the world to "beat waste".He was keen to show that with more efficient design and a smarter understanding of how we use materials, waste can be transformed into a valuable resource.The Plastiki is the result of nearly four years of design, boat-building, hipster environmentalism and cutting-edge research into plastic polymers.