Following the Plastiki

The “Plastiki” is a pretty cool boat. It’s a catamaran that was constructed using 12,000 plastic two-liter bottles, and it uses solar and wind energy to help power the boat. Their goal with the boat is to raise awareness of plastic waste and to encourage recycling. Case in point, the 12,500 bottles used to help construct the Plastiki is the same amount that is consumed in the United States every 8.3 seconds! You can learn a lot more about the vessel on their website.
Zach Moore, with some help from Peter Rubin, constructed a high-quality 3D model of the boat and he’s been updating its location each week.


You can currently find the boat at 1N, 159W in Google Earth, though it won’t be there for long. Your best bet is to download the model from the 3D Warehouse so you can quickly find the current location.
The Plastiki is in the same general area as Frank right now (he’s currently at Hiva Oa, French Polynesia), though it’s unlikely they’ll bump into each other. While there aren’t many people between them, they’re nearly 1500 miles apart. They’re both heading toward Australia, but it seems that Plastiki will get their first (Frank has a number of other stops before he gets there). I’m sure Frank will cover it in-depth on his blog if he ever crosses paths with them.

The Plastiki is a creative way to raise awareness about recycling, and Zach’s excellent 3D model gives us a great way to track the journey.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. How cool is this project…especially since 12,500 plastic bottles every 8.3 seconds is pretty scary by any measure!

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