<p><em>Plastiki</em>’s crew puts the ship through her paces on a shakedown cruise in San Francisco Bay. The 60-foot (18-meter) sailing catamaran made of recycled and repurposed plastics—primarily 12,500 empty PET drinking bottles—arrived in Sydney this week after an 8,000-nautical-mile journey from California. The epic voyage highlighted the huge problem of plastic waste in the ocean—and showcased solutions by proving what’s possible when people think beyond disposable, single-use plastics.</p><p>"The <em>Plastiki</em> [voyage] will be a great adventure, but I think more exciting is the ability to create a conversation on the issue of smarter plastics," Expedition leader David de Rothschild told National Geographic News just before sailing in March.</p><p>(<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/07/100727-plastic-bottle-catamaran-completes-epic-pacific-crossing">Read more on <em>Plastiki’s</em> voyage</a>)</p><p><i>—By Brian Handwerk</i></p>

Plastiki Under Sail

Plastiki’s crew puts the ship through her paces on a shakedown cruise in San Francisco Bay. The 60-foot (18-meter) sailing catamaran made of recycled and repurposed plastics—primarily 12,500 empty PET drinking bottles—arrived in Sydney this week after an 8,000-nautical-mile journey from California. The epic voyage highlighted the huge problem of plastic waste in the ocean—and showcased solutions by proving what’s possible when people think beyond disposable, single-use plastics.

"The Plastiki [voyage] will be a great adventure, but I think more exciting is the ability to create a conversation on the issue of smarter plastics," Expedition leader David de Rothschild told National Geographic News just before sailing in March.

(Read more on Plastiki’s voyage)

—By Brian Handwerk

Photograph by Robert Galbraith, Reuters

PHOTOS: Plastic Bottle Catamaran Crosses Pacific

Sailing a plastic bottle ship across the Pacific spotlighted the serious problem of plastic trash at sea—and showed that solutions are possible by simply thinking smarter.

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