The Plastiki Sets Sail

The Plastiki Sets Sail

As she sailed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge on a journey across the Pacific Ocean, the 60-foot catamaran called the Plastiki continued to capture people’s imagination worldwide. Led by adventurer, David de Rothschild and his environmental organization, Adventure Ecology, the crew continuously observed the effects of global warming and waste on the Pacific Ocean’s ecosystems and inhabitants. They gathered and shared data with a number of scientific organizations, as they sailed to Sydney Harbor in Australia.

HP Technology

HP was the official technology partner and played an important role in the voyage. The crew used HP Elitebook and ProBook notebook PCs to navigate, track power consumption, capture scientific data, monitor their biometric data, edit photos and videos captured by HP handhelds, and more.

For eight months leading up to the voyage, ten HP TouchSmart PCs were being used in the Plastiki Mission Control Center, on San Francisco’s Pier 45, to educate and inform people about the expedition. Children on school field trips and others used the PCs to view blueprints and sketches of the boat, learn about its construction, look at maps and watch videos related to the expedition.

Innovative Sustainable Design

The Plastiki was designed and built by experts in materials, nautical engineering, boat architecture, and sustainable design, and was made almost entirely from reclaimed and recyclable materials. About 12,500 reclaimed plastic soda and water bottles filled the sailboat’s twin hulls and kept her afloat. Each plastic bottle was filled with a small amount of dry ice that gradually sublimated from solid to gas, providing extra buoyancy.

To power the HP technology, the Plastiki’s energy was renewable. She was equipped with solar panels, wind turbines, trailing-sea turbines, and stationary bicycles that the crew used to recharge both themselves and certain batteries. Many of her instruments were solar powered.

For 30 minutes each day, the crew had access to a satellite in orbit above the Pacific, enabling them to make mobile phone calls, and upload and download written, audio and video messages, some of them mission critical.

An Inspired Journey

David was inspired after reading reports about the devastating effects of pollution in the world’s oceans, with plastics making up from 60 to 80 percent of the waste debris, depending on the location. For him, the plastic water bottle is a symbol of unnecessary waste. With the Plastiki, however, he transformed it into a symbol of how people can think differently and view waste as a potential resource.

The Plastiki, in addition to being a unique and beautiful mix of trash, technology, science, serendipity and adventure, delivered a global “message in a bottle.”

More Information

Read more about the newest generation of HP Elite Notebooks, which are 90-percent recoverable or recyclable

Read more about the HP technology onboard Plastiki and our company’s sponsorship of the expedition "