A junk raft is a type of home-built watercraft made of plastic bottles or other recycled materials constructed by artists and community-minded groups organizing recreational flotillas or by environmentally concerned individuals seeking to draw attention to the problem of floating debris, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the need for recycling. It can also be an improvised small, functional watercraft from readily available materials.
JUNK Raft Project
The JUNK Raft Project was organized by Dr. Marcus Eriksen, Joel Paschal and Anna Cummins in Long Beach, California in 2008, to bring attention to the issue of plastic pollution in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The project was launched with the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, after founder Charles J. Moore encountered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997. Organizers hoped to "creatively raise awareness about plastic debris and pollution in the ocean," specifically the Great Pacific Garbage Patch trapped in the North Pacific Gyre, by sailing 2,600 miles across the Pacific Ocean on a 30-foot (9.1 m) raft made from an old Cessna 310 aircraft fuselage and six pontoons filled with 15,000 old plastic bottles. Crewed by Dr. Marcus Eriksen of the Foundation and film-maker Joel Paschal, the raft set off from Long Beach, California on 1 June 2008, arriving in Honolulu, Hawaii on 28 August 2008. On the way, they gave valuable water to record-holding ocean rower Roz Savage, also on an environmental awareness voyage, when her supplies dwindled.
The construction of the JUNK Raft began in April 2008 and was finished the following month. The huge undertaking of constructing a seaworthy raft from "junk" was aided by volunteers from the environmental education programs of: Bell Elementary, Green Ambassadors, Muse Elementary, Santa Monica High School, and Westbridge School for Girls. The volunteers lent a hand by cleaning bottles, fastening bottle caps, and stuffing them into the recycled fisherman's net pontoon forms.
- Son of Town Hall, junk raft which crossed the Atlantic, made by Poppa Neutrino
- Plastiki, plastic bottle boat which made an expedition to the Pacific Garbage Patch
- Poppa Neutrino, the grandfather of the Junk Raft, Home Made Rafting Association
- Poppa Neutrino, Still Sailing Along, NPR profile
- ECO ART: Swoon's Junk Rafts, by a Brooklyn street artist
- Swimming Cities of Serenissima, art boats made of junk sailing across the Adriatic Sea to the Venice Biennale
- Junk Raft Publicizes Plastic Pollution, PBS NewsHour, Nov. 12, 2008
- Seattle Boat Show features famous Junk Raft
- *Plastic Bottle Boat by Balachandra Kurup of Kerala, India, featured in The Hindu, Aug. 27, 2003
- "El Padrino", Plastic Bottle Kayak by recycling enthusiast Jesus Roman of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Surfrider Foundation
- Donovan Hohn (June 22, 2008), "Sea of Trash", New York Times
- "A raft made of junk crosses Pacific in 3 months". USA Today. 2008-08-28. Archived from the original on 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
- "Raft made of junk bottles crosses Pacific". msnbc. 2008-08-28. Archived from the original on 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
- "Mid-ocean dinner date saves rower". BBC News. 2008-08-20. Archived from the original on 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
- "Students Helping To Build Junk". Blogspot. April 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2010-04-14.