Billionaire floats eco dream on sailing soda bottles

Plastiki and the 100% recyclable yacht


Plastiki's distinct disadvantages

While aiming to be wholly recyclable, Plastiki's unique design brings some distinct disadvantages to the catamaran. The exposed soda bottles and lack of a traditional hull mean it will probably never be able to travel upwind or during strong storms, and the drag that's expected will likely be much greater than most vessels experience. Its maneuverability is also expected to be limited.

"This is going to be very different sailing a boat with the bottles tightly exposed," said Jo Royle, the skipper who de Rothschild has hired to pilot Plastiki. "The material has different properties than fiberglass and wood and carbon fiber, so it'll be interesting to see how it behaves in the water."

As is now characteristic for the project, only a crude prototype of the boat has been tested, so no one knows for sure.

From the beginning, Plastiki was never about building the fastest or sturdiest boat. Rather, its mission has been to raise awareness about the perils of single-use plastic and to promote alternatives that will be viable in the marketplace.

An heir to the English branch of the Rothschild banking dynasty, the 31-year-old de Rothschild has applied his considerable fortune to activities that pursue a unique blend of outdoor adventure, environmentalism, and education. He's traveled to both the South and North Poles, making him one of only a few dozen people known to have traversed both ice caps. He also owns an 1,100-acre organic farm in New Zealand.

Plastiki bow

One of Plastiki's pontoons takes shape


Other stories you might like

  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay
    Workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability and, um, wage 'fairness' all struck down in vote

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.

    While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.

    Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021. 

    Continue reading
  • Confirmed: Broadcom, VMware agree to $61b merger
    Unless anyone out there can make a better offer. Oh, Elon?

    Broadcom has confirmed it intends to acquire VMware in a deal that looks set to be worth $61 billion, if it goes ahead: the agreement provides for a “go-shop” provision under which the virtualization giant may solicit alternative offers.

    Rumors of the proposed merger emerged earlier this week, amid much speculation, but neither of the companies was prepared to comment on the deal before today, when it was disclosed that the boards of directors of both organizations have unanimously approved the agreement.

    Michael Dell and Silver Lake investors, which own just over half of the outstanding shares in VMware between both, have apparently signed support agreements to vote in favor of the transaction, so long as the VMware board continues to recommend the proposed transaction with chip designer Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022