BEACH CLEANUP YIELDS SACKS OF PLASTIC WASTE
(Posted 22nd November 2019)
(Baobab’s General Manager Silvester Mbandi and members of his team collecting plastic waste)
While visiting the Kenya coast last week, did very high tides, likely influenced by the full moon, bring unwanted ‘visitors‘ to the beaches north and south of Mombasa.
Plastic waste from foreign lands, which traveled across the expanse of the Indian Ocean, washed up on shore, giving sections of the beaches the appearance of dump sites.
The reaction, when observed by this correspondent and two hotel managers, at the Mombasa Serena and the Baobab Resort, was swift and comprehensive.
Both hotels, and reportedly others which followed suit after finding the plastic mess on their proverbial door steps, mobilized their staff and had a major clean up underway in no time.
At the Baobab in fact were during the visit baskets seen at the entrance to the beach – arguably the best in Kenya – which even guests staying at the resort can use to play their individual part and remove plastic slippers, bottles and other plastic waste from the beach, delivering it back to the resort for proper disposal.
General Managers Herman at the Mombasa Serena and Silvester at the Baobab deserve a pat on the back for their swift action, which I was assured would become a regular event, so as to keep Kenya’s beaches clean.
The initiative to collect and recycle plastic waste from the ocean, in particular flip flop slippers, is not new. Already back in 2017 was an entire dhow being build made from plastic flip flops, which upon completion then sailed down the entire length of the Kenya coast, from Lamu to Shimoni and then on to the island of Zanzibar, showcasing the result and serving as a reminder of the world’s challenge to move away from single use plastics and embrace more sustainable solutions.
(Pictures courtesy of www.theflipflopi.com)
Some ten tons of flip flops collected from Kenya beaches were used and transformed into building material for the dhow, which is appropriately named as ‘FlipFlopi‘.
A second, twice as large vessel of this kind is in the making and upon completion will be sailed around the world to further raise global attention that, with presently over 12 million tons of plastic entering our oceans every year, this is no longer a local but a global problem for all of mankind.