One of my favourite authors as a child was Thor Heyerdahl, with The Kon-Tiki Expedition profoundly shaping the way I thought of team-building, the natural environment and internationalism. Now David de Rothschild of Adventure Ecology is planning to set sail in the Plastiki, setting out on 28 April, the sixty-second anniversary of the start of the Kon-Tiki expedition. The Kon-Tiki, which is now the subject of its own museum, was built of balsa wood, the laster Ra II raft of reeds. On both, Heyerdahl could see evidence of the growing population of the oceans, because of their intimate contact with the blue face of the planet. The Plastiki will be built of more modern materials, empty plastic bottles encased in a plastic skin. The goal: to sail into an area of plastic debris that has accumulated between California and Hawaii, in an area of the northern Pacific gyre, an area five times the size of Britain. According to the Sunday Times today, of the 100 million tons of plastic produced each year, fully 10 per cent ends up in the oceans.