De Rothschild is building his one-of-a-kind vessel on a San Francisco pier from recycled of plastic bottles, which he says are a symbol of global waste. Except for the masts, which are metal, everything on the 60-foot catamaran is made from recycled plastic.
"It’s all sail power," he said. "The idea is to put no kind of pollution back into the atmosphere, or into our oceans for that matter, so everything on the boat will be composted. Everything will be recycled. Even the vessel is going to end up being recycled when we finish."
De Rothschild’s vessel, scheduled to set sail from San Francisco in April, is called the Plastiki. Its name is an homage of sorts to Thor Heyerdahl, the fabled Norwegian explorer who in 1947 sailed 4,300 miles across the Pacific on the Kon-Tiki, a raft made from balsa wood.