Plastiki sets sail for a Greener World

My pride in HP’s green programs is no secret. But the announcement made today about HP’s support of the Plastiki expedition might be, in my opinion, one of the coolest green initiatives we’ve driven to date.

For those of you who don’t know, the Plastiki expedition is an effort by adventurer David de Rothschild and his environmental foundation Adventure Ecology to inspire people to rethink waste as a resource. To that end, they will sail across the Pacific Ocean in a 60 foot catamaran created from reclaimed plastic bottles and recycled materials. Along the way, they will document and capture data on the impact of pollution on environmentally sensitive regions, including the Eastern Garbage Patch where plastic pollution the size of Texas has accumulated. Check out some of the great Plastiki videos on YouTube.

 


The Eastern Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific Gyre, is located in the central North Pacific Ocean. Having just returned from a trip to Hawaii that included a stop at the famous Hanauma Bay marine sanctuary, the potential for such a large repository of trash to impact our national treasures scares me beyond words. It has also captured the attention of everyone from scientists, including Charles Moore who is credited with discovering it, to photographic artist Chris Jordan who created this inspiring piece.

HP’s contribution the expedition? We are equipping Plastiki with energy efficient and durable technology that the team will use for data capture and documentation. HP is also sponsoring a Plastiki Mission Control Center at Pier 45 in San Francisco, where visitors can view exhibits of the boat-building process, track the expedition on animated maps, interact with the crew via text and webcam messages, and much more.

I attended the kick-off event at Pier 45 and found myself captivated by David as he talked about the unique challenges encountered while designing the boat. In particular I was fascinated as he described their search to find an environmentally friendly plastic able to provide enough longitudinal rigidity needed to keep the boat intact on high seas, but is still be easily recyclable after the voyage is complete.

Check out photos from the event here. Read more on HP’s support here.

The vessel is currently under construction at San Francisco’s Pier 31. It will travel 12,000 nautical miles from San Francisco to Sydney. Bon Voyage!
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