In November, 2015 Kirk Gillock decided to build a large plastic bottle boat, to help create more awareness about the trash problem in our oceans and rivers. The “Think Before You Throw” boat was built in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand and launched in the summer of 2016.
The plastic bottle boat is a catamaran and 41 feet long. It has a metal frame (welded by a volunteer named Adisak) and an outer layer of thin aluminium. The boat has nearly 10,000 plastic bottles (collected by a volunteer named Eud) inside the two hulls that create the bouyancy to float the 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) vessel. The boat floats solely on the air inside the plastic bottles. It took nearly 9 months for the boat to be built.
Kirk used his own money to build the boat but relied, heavily, on local volunteers and help from the Ministry of the Environment (especially Kuhn Bee). When the boat was completed it was launched into the water (it floats!!) and moved around to various beaches in the Prachuap area. The boat had a speaker system which played a recorded message encouraging everyone to take care of their environment and to “Think Before You Throw”. Between July and November, the boat attracted many onlookers and curious visitors. Numerous trash clean-up activities were also created to educate students about the dangers of plastics in our oceans.
In late 2016, the plastic bottle boat was moved to Waghor Aquarium and donated to their facilities on December 4th, 2016 (Thai Environment Day). Since then, the Waghor Aquarium has dedicated a lot of time and resources into educating their visitors about protecting the environment.