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The Plastiki has a new competitor -- the Polli-Boat. A prototype of this concept boat set sail in Taiwan this week in celebration of World Oceans Day, and it's eco-credentials are impressive. Made from plastic bottles, old advertising banners, and other "trash" (read: misplaced raw materials), it boasts six solar panels to power an electric motor when there isn't wind enough to sail.
Polli-Boat is built by Miniwiz Sustainable Energy Development Ltd -- these are the same folks behind one of our favorite portable wind-power chargers, the Hymini, and several other eco-friendly projects like a bike charger and building "bricks" made from recycled plastic. In fact, those same bricks came into play with this boat. As Reuters reports, the main flotation system of the boat is constructed out of 804 of the bricks made of recycled plastic bottles and strengthened with PET (though Miniwiz states that number is 760). Old ad banners form the sails. And when there isn't enough wind to travel, six 72-watt soft solar panels are busy harvesting enough energy to power the electric motor.
Miniwiz states on its website, "POLLI BOAT is the world's first trimaran inspired by the 3R practices-Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Designed and engineered by Miniwiz S.E.D., Polli-Boat is made of recycled materials including the revolutionary POLLI-BRICKS™ and a newly developed green material WPC (wood-plastic composite). The boat uses waste canvas as decking and its renewable energy systems powered by both solar and wind, can be interchangeable depending on weather conditions. Seven hundred and sixty POLLI-BRICKS™ are used as the major floating device in the main hull and outer tubes due to POLLI-BRICKS™ large air pockets. WPC is used as the top decking material to replace traditional FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic); which is unrecyclable and toxic during the manufacturing process."
The Miniwiz team launched the boat for it's first journey earlier this week Taiwan in celebration of World Oceans Day, and to raise awareness over the potential of "trash" as raw materials for new creations. Much like how the Plastiki intended its voyage to be awareness-raising, the Polli-Boat will travel around Taiwan as an educational tool. Arthur and the folks at Miniwiz never cease to impress us with what new designs they devise, and this boat is just part of the many cool things they have going. If this boat proves to be as long-lasting and safe as it is green, then we'd love to see more recreational boaters using the Polli-Boat instead of less eco-friendly options. Read about more projects, and be inspired.