Annually, thousands of tonnes of plastic products are discarded and end up in the Indian Ocean. Plastic waste is washed up on the beaches of Kenya in East Africa. This impacts detrimentally on both the marine ecosystem and the economy of the country where the locals rely on coastal fishing, trade and tourism for their livelihoods.
Simon Scott-Harden worked with shoreline communities, master dhow builders, team members of the The Flipflopi Project and researchers and technicians at Northumbria University, to help develop a processing method capable of giving waste plastic a valuable second life.
As a demonstration of the potential of this new recycled material, the shoreline communities constructed a traditional dhow sailing boat entirely from plastic trash collected from Kenya’s beaches and towns.