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Ship Made of Recycled Bottles Completes Voyage Across Pacific Ocean

The crew of the Plastiki hopes their journey draws attention to the global garbage problem.

A 60-foot catamaran made out of plastic bottles completed a four-month journey across the Pacific Ocean Monday, an adventure to raise awareness about the widespread problem of plastic pollution.

Expedition leader David de Rothschild and five other crewmembers sailed their boat, the Plastiki, under the famous Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia, to dock at the city's Maritime Museum. They were met by a cheering crowd of 100 after a long voyage that started in San Francisco on March 20.

Their 128-day voyage took them to a number of South Pacific islands, including Kiribati and Samoa. On the water, they had to deal with giant waves, high winds, and brutal temperatures. Their diet consisted of little more than canned food and some supplemental vegetables from a small onboard garden.

The unique vessel was built in the San Francisco Bay Area from over 12,000 used plastic bottles. Each was filled with carbon dioxide, making the bottles so rigid that a truck could drive over one without crushing it.

The sail was made of plastic rather than cloth, and even the mast was a repurposed irrigation pipe. The exterior surface was fabricated from plastic, too, instead of the usual fiberglass.