David de Rothschild's plastic bottle boat

By Jessica Elgot, February 5, 2010
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David de Rothschild will sail his 60-foot catamaran Plastiki from San Francisco to Australia

David de Rothschild will sail his 60-foot catamaran Plastiki from San Francisco to Australia

British environmentalist David de Rothschild is planning to sail the Pacific on a boat made of 12,500 drinks bottles.

Mr de Rothschild, 31, the youngest son of renowned financier Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and part of the de Rothschild banking dynasty, will sail his 60-foot catamaran Plastiki from San Francisco to Australia in March.

Mr de Rothschild, a keen explorer and renewable energy campaigner, will use the voyage as a bold publicity stunt to drawn attention to the waste that plastic creates and how little it is recycled.

An active environmentalist, Mr de Rothschild founded Adventure Ecology in 2005, an eco-charity intended to raise awareness of the plight of the environment.

He plans to sail down toward Mexico and across the Pacific, stopping off at the island of Kiritimati, formerly known as Christmas Island.

The twin hulls of the boat are made from 12, 500 soft drink and water bottles, filled with dry ice.

Mr de Rothschild spent months collecting empty drinks bottles while building the boat in San Francisco, before it first set sail for a test run in early December 2009.

He will sail along with fellow Brit Jo Royle, who will be the ship’s captain, and six other crew members.

    Last updated: 11:10am, February 5 2010