The big picture

Flip flop, splish splash

A group of activists in Kenya wants to sail thousands of kilometers in a boat made of plastic trash and their vessel is already taking shape.

Photo: A boat made of plastic waste (Photo: picture-alliance/dpa/G. Forster)

The dhow, a traditional type of sailing vessel, has been a common sight along the coast of East Africa for more than a thousand years. But now a group of activists is building a truly unique one that truly represents the modern age: a ship made plastic trash. Its beams are made of melted and pressed waste and its colorful hull will be completely covered with what were once flip flops.

To raise awareness of the problem of plastic pollution and the need to reduce and reuse, the "Flipflopi Dhow" will sail at least 5250 kilometers (3262 miles) along the African coast from Lamu in Kenya past Tanzania and Mosambique to South Africa. The activists hope to arrive in Cape Town in February or March 2019.

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