(Xinhua) -- A traditional
dhow sailing boat made entirely from plastic trash
collected from Kenya’s beaches and towns will make
its maiden voyage across the East African Coast
later this month.
The boat that will make a
500-kilometer expedition from Lamu town in Kenya to
Zanzibar in Tanzania will be making stops along the
beaches on the way to help change mindsets of people
on plastic management.
"The boat that is nicknamed "Flipflopi" is a
reminder of the urgent need for us to rethink the
way we manufacture, use and manage single-use
plastic," Joyce Msuya, UN Environment’s Acting
Executive Director, said in a statement on Friday.
She revealed that the boat will make six stops
along the East African coastline to inspire
communities on how to repurpose their own plastic
waste, and promote UN Environment Clean Seas
Msuya noted that expedition inspires communities
living along Africa’s coastline and beyond to look
at plastic waste not as trash but as a resource that
can be collected and used productively.
Msuya noted that the "Flipflopi" is a
first-of-its-kind, nine-metre sailing boat made from
10 tons of discarded plastic.
She said that the boat has been built by a team
calling for a plastic revolution to stem the flow of
up to 12 million tons of plastic waste dumped into
the world’s oceans each year and to highlight the
potential for plastic waste to be re-used.
The expedition will start in Lamu on Jan. 24 and
arrive in Stone Town in Zanzibar on Feb. 7, where
the Flipflopi and Clean seas teams will meet up with
Conservation Music at the Busara Music Festival,
engaging festival goers in the fight against marine
plastic pollution through performing arts.
She noted that in Africa, marine debris
represents a potential threat to food security,
economic development, and the viability of the
"With over 12 million people on the continent
engaged in fisheries, their livelihood is directly
affected by marine pollution, and the proportion of
protein intake from fish is high across Africa,"
The dhow was launched in late 2018 in Lamu and
has now partnered with UN Environment’s Clean Seas
campaign, which engages governments, the public and
the private sector in the fight against marine
Nine African countries have already signed onto
the campaign, promising to take action to tackle
The launch is taking place nearly two years after
Kenya introduced the world’s toughest laws on
single-use plastic bags and it is set to play a
bigger role in engaging the public in thinking about
According to the UN Environment, 127 out of 192
countries have reviewed while some have adopted some
form of legislation to regulate plastic bags and
that 27 countries have enacted legislation banning
specific products (plates, cups, straws, packaging),
materials (polystyrene) or production levels.