While his team was plodding through the R&D process, a Southern California scientist named Marcus Eriksen built a simple 30-foot vessel with pontoons made from 15,000 plastic bottles, a deck of retired sailboat masts, and a cabin from an old Cessna.

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"It gives me a chance to reflect: Is my message right? "And we've definitely become more efficient at understanding what we're trying to achieve over these last three years." Indeed, the reality is that de Rothschild is better equipped to be a marketer than an expedition leader.

Before his Adventure Ecology trip to the Arctic, his expedition résumé consisted of just two ski treks, across Antarctica and Greenland.

"If I walked into a big company and said, 'I want to talk to you about your supply-chain waste,' they'd be like, 'Well, get in the queue; there are a lot of other consultants,'" he said, standing in front of the 's twin bows.

"But if I say, 'I'm going to build a boat made of twelve and a half thousand water bottles and sail from San Francisco to Sydney, I'm going to engineer new materials, and look at waste as a design flaw, would you like to get involved?

But he's charismatic and articulate, which is why the Sundance Channel tapped him to host an environmental show called , he has no illusions of playing captain; he says his role will be storyteller.

"My strength is in creating a platform to make a lot of noise," he says.If the began as a bit of cheeky eco-awareness stagecraft, it's evolved into something that's far more complicated and technical than he ever imagined.The result is a boat that could, by its very design, begin to break the chain of waste that starts with disposable materials and ends with trillions of tiny toxic fragments polluting our oceans.' They get curious." He turned and looked at his boat."We use it as an ointment to attract the flies." DE ROTHSCHILD's innovative application of sr PET may be the project's most enduring legacy, but engineering a new material is slow going.As you may have heard, David de Rothschild, 31, an heir to the famous European banking fortune, is building a catamaran out of some 12,500 plastic water bottles and sailing it from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia.