Sail-World.com : Jo Royle: the Plastiki experience at Sydney International Boat Show
Jo Royle: the Plastiki experience at Sydney International Boat Show
Tucked in a plastic pod, onboard a leaky boat called Plastiki with a crew of men for four months, Skipper Jo Royle has many stories to tell. But her main message is that we need to beat waste and change our attitudes to the use of one-life plastic.
Among the special guests at the Marine Industry Breakfast on Friday 30 July, the official opening of the Sydney International Boat Show, of course in Sydney ,Australia,, Jo took the stage with the man behind the concept, David de Rothschild to invite guests to the event to visit the Plastiki at its temporary home at the Maritime Museum.
On March 20, the 60-foot vessel set sail from San Francisco Bay on an 11,000-mile voyage to Sydney.
The Plastiki is an example of how to reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink and ultimately refuse single use plastic, she says.
'We need to beat waste. There's no waste in nature, it's only humans that create it. We need to begin to look at waste as a resource and learn to use it. We have to stop the use of one-life plastic, like we have done with aluminium. 98% of aluminium we use is recycled.'
Her experience on the Plastiki was 'wet', she says. 'I got on very well with the five boys, we had to as it is a small, confined space. But because it's like a raft, we were wet a lot of the time.'
The Plastiki embodies the spirit of the reusing it aims to promote. 'It's built of low toxicity material,' says Jo.
Gaining 68 per cent of its buoyancy from the post consumer plastic bottles strapped to a recycled plastic hull, even the glue that holds it together is a newly-developed organic glue made from cashew nuts and sugar cane. The mast is a reclaimed aluminium irrigation pipe, and the sail is hand-made from recycled PET cloth.
Relying primarily on renewable energy systems including solar panels, wind and trailing propeller turbines, and bicycle generators, the Plastiki even has a urine-to-water recovery and rainwater catchment system fitted to a hydroponic garden.
The Plastiki is the first product to be built from Seretex. The voyage, says Jo, proves that Seretex, a fully recyclable self reinforced PET (polyethylene terephthalate) has the capacity to replace the use of more toxic and less recyclable plastics used in the manufacture of almost everything in our daily lives, from furniture to the interiors of cars.
Plastiki always did prefer downwind sailing - .. .
Jo was involved since the very beginning in San Francisco, working on the development of the craft over 12 months, then during the six month build and final testing phase before launching in March. The boat will tour the world for the next year.
A sailor by profession with a Masters degree in Environmental Science, Jo is a self-described 'Jack of all trades' and 'Adventurer'.
'Onboard Plastiki I was thinking about the role of adventure travel these days, now that there's nowhere left to discover and I decided that it's more important than ever before. We need adventurers, inspirational people like Jessica Watson and other sailors, to revive that spirit of discovery and to highlight the issues facing our Earth. Projects like our boat bring a range of amazing people together, scientists, the media and the public to shed light on
Next on Jo's horizon is a stint in the Arctic to explore the toxicity of our oceans and investigate ideas of how to reduce it, focusing on nuclear waste in particular.
Vital Stats Jo Royle
Where you live: Nomadic, but my heart finds home in the West Country, where I spent a lot of time
growing up and learning to sail.
Star sign: Libra
Height: 5' 6.5' - the .5 is very important as the guys are always taking the mick that I am short!
Likes: Wide open spaces, laughing, cycling, live music, missions, my beautiful buddies....
Dislikes: that the amazing Indian Avatars does take away in Styrofoam containers
Strengths: being able to put up with the guys ripping into me the whole time
Weaknesses: naughtiness or is that a strength, a fast peddling mind.
Most anticipated part of journey: Sailing into a Pacific Atoll and sharing time with local people.
Favourite sea creature: Jellyfish as they are so intriguing and their increasing populations tell us so much
about the health of our oceans, dolphins, especially as they play around the boat in the phosphorescence at night.
Your must have item onboard: The parotts on my shoulder, an elephant, turquoise, mum's bracelet and
angels. Music and a pen and paper.
More at www.theplastiki.com
by Jeni Bone
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2:52 AM Sat 31 Jul 2010 GMT
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