"The logic of zero waste is not an opportunity, but almost an obligation," Raffelo Imbò, who built his boat out of 600 plastic bottles collected over a year, told Repubblica.
Imbò was apparently greeted with instantaneous applause by onlookers as he reached the feet of the Castello Aragonese on Ischia. He said the trip's objective was to highlight the impact of human waste on the environment.
The issue of plastic on Italy's coastline is a worrying environmental phenomenon.
Of 78 beaches examined (the equivalent of 60 football pitches) by Legambiente's Goletta Verde watchdog mission in 2018, 50,000 items of waste were identified – 620 every 100 metres. 80 per cent of all the waste was plastic. Plastic bottles, bottle tops, dishes and plastic bags were the most prominent discarded items.
An earlier study by the University of Pisa estimated that there are up to two tonnes of microplastics on Italy's beaches.