Boat made of recycled plastic and flip-flops inspires fight for cleaner seas along African coast

UN Environment The FlipFlopi dhow, a 9-metre traditional sailing boat made from 10 tonnes of discarded plastic, will be the first boat of its kind to launch a world expedition on 24 January, 2018.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

After completing a historic 500km journey from the Kenyan island of Lamu to the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, the world’s first ever traditional “dhow” sailing boat made entirely from recycled plastic, known as the Flipflopi, has successfully raised awareness of the need to overcome one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges: plastic pollution.

After completing a historic 500km journey from the Kenyan island of Lamu to the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, the world’s first ever traditional “dhow” sailing boat made entirely from recycled plastic, known as the Flipflopi, has successfully raised awareness of the need to overcome one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges: plastic pollution.

The Flipflopi Project was co-founded by Kenyan tour operator Ben Morison in 2016, and the ground-breaking dhow was built by master craftsmen Ali Skanda, and a team of volunteers using 10,000 tonnes of recycled plastic.

The boat gets its name from the 30,000 recycled flip-flops used to decorate its multi-coloured hull.

Plastics make up 80 per cent of all ocean litter

The UN Environment agency’s (UNEP) Clean Seas Campaign joined forces with Flipflopi for the journey down the East African coast, which began on 23 January, ending on 7 February, with the aim of inspiring citizens from Africa and around the world to become more aware of the dangers of plastic pollution.

The Clean Seas campaign was launched in 2017 to urge governments, businesses and citizens to eliminate major sources of marine litter – microplastics in cosmetics and the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic – by the year 2022. Each year, more than 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans, wreaking havoc on marine wildlife, fisheries and tourism, and costing at least $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems. Up to 80 per cent of all litter in the oceans is made of plastic.

Historic pollution commitments along Flipflopi route

Flipflopi made several stops during the journey, letting local people know what they can do to halt the spread of toxic plastic waste, including the Kenyan coastal towns of Kipini, Malindi and Mombasa.

Workshops were conducted to give community members a better understanding of the consequences of dumping plastic waste into the ocean and show children how they can create useful new objects out of dumped plastic bottles.

During the Flipflopi voyage, every port of call announced historic commitments to fight pollution. One of the most significant was the pledge to close the Kibarani landfill site in Mombasa, which allows toxic water to drain directly into the ocean. Kibarani is now being restored and planted with trees, while waste will reportedly be disposed of at a new site in a more environmentally responsible manner.

Another positive outcome of the campaign has been the decision of 29 businesses, including 22 hotels, to minimize their plastic waste through measures such as banning the use of plastic bottles and straws.

UN Environment’s Clean Seas – Flipflopi expedition, is the latest chapter in Kenya’s push to become a global pioneer in tackling plastic pollution. In August 2017, the country introduced the world’s toughest ban on plastic bags with anyone producing, selling or using a plastic bag, risking imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000.

The next step for Flipflopi will be a journey to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, where Heads of State, environment ministers, environmental activists, innovators, NGOs, and CEOs of multinational companies will gather for the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly – the world’s highest-level environmental forum – from 11-15 March 2019.                  

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

Commission reinforces tools to ensure Europe’s interests in international trade

EU launches WTO challenge against Indonesian restrictions on raw materials

Stronger European Border and Coast Guard to secure EU’s borders

In Venezuela, Bachelet calls on Government to release prisoners, appeals for ‘bold steps towards compromise’

Could the pandemic usher in a golden age of cycling?

AI looks set to disrupt the established world order. Here’s how

G20: Less growth, more austerity for developing countries

Africa must use tech to chase corruption out of the shadows

Why do medical students need to go abroad to become a doctor in 2017?

The Swiss will pay dearly for voting out fellow Europeans

Why people with disabilities are your company’s untapped resource

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Press Freedom Day, Tuna Day, cultural dialogue, #GlobalGoals awards, updates on Syria, Somalia, Mali

UN experts urge Turkey to repatriate Irish woman associated with terror group

EU Ambassadors in the EP: a multilateral approach to global challenges needed

Are we at the edge of anti-vaccination health crisis?

Security Council unanimously agrees to extend UN Cyprus Mission amid political impasse

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

GSMA Mobile 360 in Kuala Lumpur– Digital Societies, in association with The European Sting

Deutsche Bank: the next financial crisis is here and the lenders need €150 billion from taxpayers

Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?

Women in Iceland have walked out of work to dispute the gender pay gap

Assault on key Yemeni port would endanger 300,000 children and ‘choke off’ aid for millions more: UNICEF chief

Why carbon capture could be the game-changer the world needs

Finnish Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

Will Qualcomm avoid Broadcom’s hostile takeover post the 1 bn euro EU antitrust fine?

A Sting Exclusive: “China-Africa Cooperation Sets a Fine Example of South-South Cooperation”, by China’s Ambassador to EU

‘Do something’; UN relief chief urges Security Council action to stop the Syrian carnage unfolding ‘in front of your eyes’

Guterres: Security Council’s African alliances ‘needed and appreciated more than ever’

Facebook engineer working at the company’s HQ, Menlo Park, CA (Copyright: Facebook Inc., Source: Facebook Inc.’s website, newsroom)

Facebook goes under formal EU privacy scrutiny after latest massive data breach

Can China deal with climate change without the U.S.?

EU Civil Protection Mechanism must be sufficiently funded to save lives

Trade defence report: restoring the level playing field for European producers

Brexit: political groups discuss options for an orderly withdrawal

Further reforms in Japan needed to meet the challenges of population ageing and high public debt

Huge data gaps’ hampering ‘evidence-based’ national migration policies

After the George Floyd protests, what next for racial justice in the US?

Erasmus+: a turning point in the lives of 5 million European students

Youth and Decent Work: A Review of Today’s Facts, Challenges and Possible Solutions

You’ve heard of 5G, but what about the quantum internet?

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

Fact-checking Day: Fighting the virus of disinformation on Covid-19

Inflation and interest rates indicate urgent need for action

Mandela, ‘true symbol of human greatness’, celebrated on centenary of his birth

What we’ve learned about mental health from young people

Spanish vote – bad luck for Greece: Does Iphigenia need to be sacrificed for favourable winds to blow in Eurozone?

There is a mental health crisis in entrepreneurship. Here’s how to tackle it

Social Committee slams the 28 EU leaders for false promises

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Parliament’s interparliamentary delegations established

Prevention is key to ‘breaking the cycle of HIV transmission’, UN chief tells General Assembly

Promoting gender equality a ‘crucial contribution’ in effort to restore, protect our planet’s oceans

Mankind’s first tool to fight malaria also kills

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Ebola in DR Congo, malnutrition in Laos, baby health, support for Sahel force, #ClimateAction

Egypt: The road to hell paved with western advices for democracy

Climate action: 4 shifts the UN chief encourages Governments to make

How the future of computing can make or break the AI revolution

A European young student speaks about the Youth Policies of the European Commission

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

EU Trust Fund Bêkou for the Central African Republic extended until 2020

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s