Friday, July 23, 2010

A message in 12,500 bottles

Plastiki, David De Rothchild’s 60-foot catamaran with a hull made of 12,500 CO2 filled plastic drinks bottles, arrived in Sydney harbour this week, after completing an 8,000 nautical mile trip across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco, California. The aim of the trip was to highlight the quantities of plastic debris found in the oceans (for every kilometre of the world’s ocean there are 13,000 pieces of microscopic plastic waste) which seals, dolphins, turtles and whales mistake for food and ingest.

The trip contrasts,

  • The glory of human ingenuity and innovation (who in their right minds would consider making a 60’ catamaran from drink bottles, let alone setting off to cross the Pacific?)
  • The folly of human hubris (once the plastic is out of sight we classify it as ‘dealt with’ and keep pumping out more).

This gives us two things to think about:
  • What are we doing that is outlandishly innovative and potentially beneficial to the world?
  • What are we doing that involves out-of-sight-out-of-mind thinking, that we could change?

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