As an heir to the famous de Rothschild banking fortune, David de Roths-child could be enjoying an extremely comfortable life in London. Instead he’s risking his life fighting against plastic bottles.


“Most people live far away from oceans and don’t realize what a huge problem plastic garbage in the oceans is,” says de Rothschild on a satellite phone onboard his boat, the Plastiki. “There’s a huge garbage island in the Pacific Ocean called the Pacific Garbage Patch, twice the size of Texas. People want to see photos to believe it, but most of the plastic is underneath the water.” The 32-year-old de Rothschild has previously trekked to both the North Pole and the South Pole.


To combat plastic waste, de Rothschild is now sailing from San Francisco to Sydney on the Plastiki, a boat made from 12,000 used plastic bottles. De Rothschild and his crew left San Francisco three months ago and are scheduled to arrived in Sydney in early July. “On the Plastiki we’re using solar energy, growing own food and use things made from recycled materials,” he explains. “But the Plastiki is just a metaphor for change. I want people to develop their own ways of combating plastic waste.”