UK-based environmentalist David de Rothschild will speak about his groundbreaking expedition on a vessel made from plastic at the University of Sydney on Thursday (July 29-2010).
David de Rothschild is the founder of Adventure Ecology and a modern-day environmentalist who seeks to raise awareness of the human impact on the environment, whilst driving innovative real-world solutions.
In his Sydney Ideas lecture, co-presented with the University‚s Institute for Sustainable Solutions, de Rothschild will discuss his four-month journey from San Francisco to Sydney on board The Plastiki, an 18-metre vessel created from 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles.
„It‚s about re-thinking waste as a resource,‰ said de Rothschild, who will also address the impact of pollution on the ocean. „We need to move on from just articulating the problem and actually inspire action for solutions.‰
David de Rothschild conceived the idea for the voyage after reading a report issued by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) called „Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Deep Waters and High Seas.‰ He was also part inspired by Thor Heyerdahl‚s epic 1947 expedition, The Kon-Tiki, which questioned the treatment of waste materials.
„The expedition is not only influenced by the Œcradle-to-cradle‚ design but also brought together a team from various fields to create The Plastiki as a truly unique vessel,‰ de Rothschild said.
The Plastiki is engineered almost entirely from plastic bottles, which provide 68 per cent of the vessel‚s buoyancy. The sail is hand-made from recycled PET cloth and the mast is created from aluminium irrigation pipe.
De Rothschild argues waste, principally plastic, can be transformed into a valuable resource, which can help lesson the human footprint on the natural world. „Almost all of the marine pollution in the world is comprised of plastic materials,‰ remarks Rothschild. „Scientists estimate that every year at least one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die when they entangle themselves in plastic pollution or ingest it.‰
David de Rothschild is a UK-based environmentalist and the author of “The Global Warming Survival Handbook”, “The Boy, the Girl and The Tree” and is the editor of Dorling Kindersley‚s “Earth Matters”. In 2006, he spent more than 100 days crossing the Arctic and became the youngest British person to reach both geographical poles. He has been named as a National Geographic Society ŒEmerging Explorer‚, the World Economic Forum ŒYoung Global Leader‚ and a UNEP ŒClimate Hero‚.
What: The Plastiki Expedition ˆ David de Rothschild at Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney‚ international public lecture series. Co-presented by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at the University of Sydney
When: 6.30pm on Thursday, 29 July, 2010
Where: The Seymour Centre, Corner of City Road and Cleveland Street, University of Sydney.
Cost: $20/$15 concession. Free for University of Sydney staff, students and alumni. (ID required. These tickets only available at Seymour Centre box office.)
Bookings: Phone 9351 7940 or online at www.sydney.edu.au/sydney_ideas
More information on The Plastiki and its voyage: http://www.theplastiki.com/