“Land ahoy!” for the successful Plastiki expedition

IWC Schaffhausen congratulates Adventure Ecology’s David de Rothschild and his crew


—Image ©Luca Babini

Schaffhausen, 26 July 2010 – After 130 days on the high seas, the Plastiki today sailed triumphantly into the port of Sydney. David de Rothschild and his crew, who had covered around 8000 nautical miles across the Pacific from San Francisco, were welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd. The watchmaking company IWC Schaffhausen as official partner was also highly delighted by the successful conclusion of the expedition dedicated to environmental protection. Members of the crew wore the Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Edition “Adventure Ecology” on their wrists during the voyage. A one-off watch in platinum will now be auctioned at www.theplastiki.com

“We are incredibly proud of David de Rothschild and the Adventure Ecology team, and overjoyed that he and his crew have tackled this adventurous voyage so successfully,” enthused Georges Kern, CEO of the CO2-neutral watchmaking company IWC Schaffhausen, which supported the Plastiki as an official partner. De Rothschild, who, among other things, is breaking completely new ground with the 12-tonne catamaran Plastiki, is a lateral thinker and impassioned environmental pioneer. He put his vision of a society which regards waste as a resource into practice imaginatively by building the hull of the vessel from 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles, and even specified a high-tech fabric, a uniquely recyclable and until now relatively unexplored material, for the hull’s super structure. The avant-garde Plastiki, with its solar panels, wind turbines and bicycle generators for producing electricity is an impressive demonstration of what is possible when you are prepared to think out of the box.

Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Edition “Adventure Ecology”
—Image ©Luca Babini

Tonnes of waste place a strain on the environment

The intelligent and solution-oriented approach of the adventurer and environmentalist also won over IWC Schaffhausen: “David is a pioneer and a passionate campaigner for an intact environment,” says Georges Kern. “The Plastiki adventure is unique and extremely complex. There were countless challenges to be mastered, yet David never gives up and is a role model for our society.” With the Plastiki expedition, David de Rothschild, his crew (Jo Royle, David Thomson, Olav Heyerdahl, Vern Moen, Graham Hill, Max Jourdan, Singeli Agnew, Luca Babini and Matthew Grey) and his Adventure Ecology organization have drawn attention to the traces that mankind thoughtlessly leaves behind in nature. An estimated two billion plastic bottles were disposed of in the USA alone during the crossing from San Francisco to Sydney. According to a survey conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), four of every five bottles, that is to say around 27 million tonnes of plastic, still end up in household waste and cause lasting environmental pollution.

The aim of the spectacular Plastiki expedition was to awaken global awareness and encourage the world to beat waste by reducing, reusing, rethinking and ultimately refusing one-way disposable plastics such as styrene foam, plastic bags and plastic bottles.

Step by step towards the goal

“Seventy-five percent of plastic waste can be reduced through small changes and intelligent rethinking in our daily life,” says David de Rothschild with conviction. “Refuse, re-use, recycle and rethink are the key words for the future.” To champion this mission, this master-mind with his Adventure Ecology organization will continue to follow unconventional paths in order to call upon individuals, enterprises and industry to eliminate the problem of waste by re-thinking it as a resource.

Helping others to help themselves

On its voyage across the Pacific, the Plastiki called at the Christmas Island or Kiritimati Atoll after over 40 days at sea, which was its first point of disembarkation. After an exuberant welcome with traditional music and dancing, the crew gave a talk on the subject of waste to a thousand high school graduates. This is a problem that is of special concern to the islanders. In cooperation with the community leaders, the Plastiki crew discussed some of the solutions being used locally to tackle the waste management issues facing these remote island nations. Adventure Ecology along with its foundation “Sculpt the Future” will as part of its Plastiki legacy initiate a project known as “The Plastiki Pod”. “The Plastiki Pod” will receive a considerable boost from the auction of an exclusive Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Edition “Adventure Ecology” in platinum from IWC Schaffhausen. At the press conference following his arrival, David de Rothschild gave the official starting signal for the auction. This exquisite one-of-a-kind watch is about to be put up for auction immediately on the expedition website at www.theplastiki.com. IWC will donate the entire proceeds to “Sculpt the Future” Foundation which will go onto benefit “The Plastiki Pod” project.

Seventy-five percent of plastic waste can be reduced through small changes and intelligent rethinking in our daily life

—David de Rothschild

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