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Plastiki Across the Pacific on Plastic: An Adventure to Save Our Oceans Hardcover – March 16, 2011
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ask yourself - what did we do before everyone always had to have a bottle in their hand - it wasn't always this way...can we live with out carrying around a drink 24/7? Especially in containers we do not use again.
Then there are the shocking and even ghastly facts that are brought out in the simplest manner ...even facial scrubs have bits of plastic granules - you wash your face and down the drain they go.
This is the story of an adventurer who creates a sailboat/catamaran out of plastic bottles and sails across the ocean. We learn about the building and design, the crew - their thoughts and words, including the grandson of Thor Heyerdahl of Kon Tiki fame. It is an adventure, a sailing story and a nagging worry of the future of this earth - our home that is drowning in a sea of man made trash.
The book itself is as much a picture book as it is a written text. There are charts for ocean friendly seafood choices. It helps to have an interest in sailing, more so in the future of how we live. Sailors, ecologists, marine biologists and members of the planet earth will find this book haunting and worthwhile.
Plastiki was more than a publicity stunt. It aimed to bring recognition to a huge and growing problem of discarded plastic which could be recycled. Yes the US is targeted, but also is the biggest consumer and proportionally the largest refuse producer. This should be a book that all ages should read, look at and learn from and then go forth and do something about the problem.
I particularly enjoyed Chapter 2 on the materials used to build the Plastiki and the effort that went in to finding suitable plastics for structural integrity. Chapter 4 has a useful chart on plastic recycling triangle marks and what the numbers inside them mean(page 95). Indeed, the book is peppered with quality photographs and infographics - page 89 shows Plastic 101 statistics, pages 236-7 show Plastiki 2010's stats. Graphics describe the 5 Gyres where plastic soups swirl (pages 92-93) and how the Plastiki is designed (pages 56-57).
Throughout the book are 2 page quotes from famous ocean lovers like Sylvia Earle (author of Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans and The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One among many other manuscripts) and Marcus Eriksen, cofounder of the 5 Gyres Project. Each crew member has a one page bio.
I'd have liked more info on the landings on Christmas Island and Samoa. The journey from Mooloolaba - north of Brisbane - to Sydney Harbor is skipped - the crew is relieved to have made it to Australia.
This is a great book for anyone who wants to understand plastic pollution in the ocean. It also shows how a determined team can create awareness of a global problem through innovation and communications. Full of inspiration, ideas for action and environmental messages this book would be great for families to read and discuss together.
It is both an adventure tale of open-ocean rafting and an ecological awareness mission highlighting the health of our oceans and our throw-away disposition towards plastic.
A few of the issues that stand out to me from reading Plastiki:
1. A lack of fish in the ocean. In 129 days the crew only caught 3 fish and had just a handful of wildlife interaction. To me this is unbelievable. In Kon-Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl (whose grandson Olav is a Plastiki crew member) describes the endless abundance of wildlife; they fished daily eating dorado, bonito, and flying fish, and even started catching sharks by their tails for sport. Only 53 years later seeing any of these fish were rare on Plastiki.
2. Plastic garbage gyres. The North Pacific gyre is an agglomeration of plastic particles many times the size of Texas and keeps growing because plastic continuously finds it way to the ocean. There are gyres in every ocean at stagnation points in the current. This is not just a problem of garbage in the ocean, it has large downstream consequences because plastic never really goes away.
3. Plastic doesn't degrade. Ever. Rather it gets broken down by the sun's UV rays into smaller and smaller particles of the same composition. It really does last forever. These particles both absorb toxins and can get into the food stream.
While the plastic message takes precedent, it is also an entertaining adventure for sailors and explorers alike. As an aside Plastiki is worth it for the layout and full-colour photographs on every page that enhance the story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an outstanding book and it gave the details of David's journey that made you feel as if you were along on his very courageous adventure. Read morePublished on November 17, 2013 by LT
Compelling back story for those of us fortunate enough to see the boat on display. Perot Museum in Dallas hosting the exhibit in summer of '13, but the book is highly... Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Charles Newcomb
THis is a beautifully designed book that gives an overview of the Plastiki project, but also features short essays by significant people working to save our oceans. Read morePublished on March 5, 2013 by Nancy Sullivan
Plastiki is an important book that tells the story of plastic pollution in our oceans. The Plastiki vessel was built from discarded plastic bottles. Read morePublished on July 9, 2012 by lschott