The FlipFlopi 500Km Expedition Begins in Lamu

The world’s first recycled plastic sailing boat is complete and ready for its first voyage along the East African coastline, with a goal to set off the #PlasticRevolution.

The Flipflopi left Lamu, on 24 Jan and will sail down stopping in Watamu, Kilifi, Mombasa, Diani, Shimoni, Pemba before crossing Zanzibar and docking in Stone Town. The finale of this journey will be at the Sauti za Busara where they will be partnering with award-winning, creative innovators, Conservation music who use the universal language of music to educate around key conservation issues and activate change at the grassroots level.

The team that has been hard at work for most of 2018 are on a mission to educate communities on the dangers of plastic waste. The project was launched on World Clean Up Day, with a 24 hour clean up drive that continued through out the year – providing raw materials for the boat.

Keep the #PlasticRevolution growing…

One year ago we launched the #PlasticRevolution with tremendous support from some of Kenya's most respected artists including Maia Von Lekow Eric Wainaina Patricia Kihoro Juliani John Sibi-Okumu Ian Mbugua Judy Kibinge Smriti Vidyarthi and friends Umra Omar @James Wakibia and the message has since spread to a global audience. One year later we are steering closer to our mission to launch the world's first #recycledplastic dhow but like all great missions, this is a journey that we don't intend to stop until we end #singleuseplastic and Kenya is once again at the forefront of change! Thank you everyone who has come on board so far… #worldenvironmentday #BeatPlasticPollution

Posted by The Flipflopi Expedition on Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A number of Kenyan celebrities, as seen on the video, have been supporting the efforts of this dedicated team of local and international conservationists and boat makers.

“On our first overseas expedition from Lamu to Zanzibar this week in partnership with the UNEP Clean Seas program, we are hugely grateful to be hosted by many local change-makers all of whom are already playing their pivotal role in the plastic revolution.” says Becca Faber on their website.

What’s special about the boat? “The first prototype is around 10 metres in length and weighs about 5 tonnes. Made from colourful recycled flip flops it is quite a beautiful spectacle, and a considerable achievement by Ali Skanda and other volunteers. The boat was launched in Lamu – in Ali’s boat yard.”

Each stop over will also see the boat visit various conservation NGOs, backpackers and hotels such as Watamu Marine Association, Distant Relatives Ecolodge, The Sands at Nomads and many others. They will also hold several public beach clean ups and film displays.

Kenyan laws banned plastic bags across the country in August 2017. Plastic pollution of the Indian Ocean is still a big problem and was one of the widely discussed issues in the inaugural #BlueEconomyConference in November last year.

For more information on the expedition check out the website and to support them in this revolution donate here

LL is a writer based in Nairobi who previously loved attending and writing about the pop culture scene, Nairobae events, and cool Kenyans doing cool things. Especially Kenyan women. Currently, she's relearning and exploring beauty and fashion stories in the country.