A technicolour dreamboat
Flipflopi (Kenya)
Leonard Schurg,
 Senior Manager

Ever seen 10 tonnes of discarded plastic set sail? Behold the Flipflopi, a colourful feat of engineering, made entirely out of old plastic flip flops, toothbrushes, bottles and bags. It’s a powerful symbol of the plastic crisis, and a joyful reminder that we can solve it. Built as a traditional dhow, which have been built in and sailed from East Africa for thousands of years, the Flipflopi was made from discarded plastic from beaches and local towns. The team, including design engineer and plastics expert Leonard Schürg, melted down 10 tonnes of plastic to build the dhow. But it didn’t stop there: in February 2019, the Flipflopi sailed the 500km from Lamu, an island off the coast of Kenya, to Zanzibar off Tanzania. The crew coordinated with local grassroots organisations, local governments and schools, to arrange six stop-off points to run plastics workshops to teach kids about the problem of plastic and come up with ideas to solve it. In addition, the team has been continuing their work to improve waste management and recycling at the three hubs that they have set up across Kenya, advocating for far-reaching change for the plastic problem.