Cam­paign against dump­ing of plas­tics in oceans sails off

Business Daily (Kenya) - - MARKET PLACE - Con­stant Munda [email protected]­tion­media.com Ac­tivists aboard Flipflopi, the first dhow made en­tirely of re­cy­cled plas­tic.

Plas­tic Rev­o­lu­tion, a move­ment bring­ing to­gether var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions against dump­ing of plas­tic waste in oceans, will from next week em­bark on a 15-day sen­si­ti­sa­tion cam­paign us­ing a boat built en­tirely from re­cy­cled marine waste.

The nine-me­tre boat, dubbed Flipflopi, which will be mak­ing its maiden voy­age was made from 10 tonnes of plas­tic waste col­lected on beaches in Lamu.

The move­ment has part­nered with UN En­vi­ron­ment’s Clean Seas cam­paign which will see the tra­di­tional dhow travel from Lamu to Zanz­ibar be­tween Jan­uary 23 and Fe­bru­ary 7, cov­er­ing a 500 kilo­me­tre jour­ney.

Clean Seas, launched in Fe­bru­ary 2017, is a UN pro­gramme which en­gages gov­ern­ments, the pub­lic and the pri­vate sec­tor in the fight against marine plas­tic pol­lu­tion.

The team will make stop-overs along the way — in­clud­ing Mom­basa be­tween Jan­uary 28 and 29 — to sen­si­tise com­mu­ni­ties against dump­ing plas­tic in the In­dian Ocean and cre­ate aware­ness on their re-use.

“Kenya has demon­strated tremen­dous lead­er­ship in ad­dress­ing the epi­demic of sin­gle-use plas­tic by ban­ning plas­tic bags.

“We are clearly mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion but we need a dras­tic shift in con­sump­tion pat­terns and waste man­age­ment prac­tices across the world,” UN En­vi­ron­ment’s act­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Joyce Msuya said in a state­ment.

“The Flipflopi is liv­ing proof that we can live dif­fer­ently. It is a re­minder of the ur­gent need for us to re­think the way we man­u­fac­ture, use and man­age sin­gle-use plas­tic.”

The Flipflopi project team, which in­cludes tra­di­tional dhow boat builders in sleepy Lamu, melted plas­tic waste and shaped and

carved it into a boat – the same way they do with wood. “We are proud to have built the world’s first sail­ing boat made from re­cy­cled plas­tic,” Ali Skanda, the lead boat builder, said in the state­ment.

“The next chal­lenge is to sail and in­spire peo­ple up and down Africa’s coast­line and be­yond to look at plas­tic waste not as trash but as a re­source that can be col­lected and used.”

Flipflopi Project, founded in 2016, largely en­gages in cre­at­ing aware­ness on the ef­fects of plas­tic waste on marine ecosys­tems.

Kenya banned plas­tic car­rier bags in Au­gust 2017, im­pos­ing hefty penal­ties on pro­duc­tion, use or car­ry­ing of the bags which was a com­mon fea­ture in Kenya be­fore the move.

"The Flipflopi Project is play­ing a vi­tal role in en­gag­ing the pub­lic at large in think­ing about plas­tic dif­fer­ently,” board mem­ber Judi Wakhungu, the for­mer En­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter who spear­headed the ban on plas­tic car­rier bags and cur­rent Kenyan am­bas­sador to France, said.

“They have a colour­ful and in­no­va­tive way of talk­ing about the is­sue and their mes­sage is re­ally hit­ting home, reach­ing parts of the pop­u­la­tion which other ini­tia­tives sel­dom do.”

The team will make stopovers along the way — in­clud­ing Mom­basa be­tween Jan­uary 28 and 29

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