Campaign against dumping of plastics in oceans sails off
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