Oprah called it the most shocking thing she's seen. In April 2009, oceanographic explorer Fabien Cousteau exposed the truth about the world's largest trash dump—the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Estimated to be twice the size of Texas, this trash swirl stretches across the Pacific Ocean from the coast of California to Japan. In some places, the debris is 90 feet deep.

British explorer David de Rothschild, heir to the Rothschild banking fortune, first heard about the Pacific garbage patch in 2006. This ecological disaster, which has killed millions of seabirds and marine mammals, inspired him to build a boat made of 12,500 plastic bottles and other recycled materials. He named it the Plastiki.

Take an exclusive photo tour of the Plastiki.

In March 2010, David and a small team of environmentalists set sail from San Francisco on this one-of-a-kind boat to get people to rethink waste as a resource. This risky voyage will take them through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch before docking in Sydney, Australia.

"We've tried to make everything on this boat as sustainable as possible," David says. "From the energy we use, the food that we eat and the way that we travel."


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