FlipFlopi Expedition

A world without single use plastic.

The Problem

Our oceans are turning into plastic soup. Creatures that live in and around them are being poisoned – over 12 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into oceans every year. The 33 tonnes of plastic we found on our beach clean up in Lamu came from Thailand, Malaysia, India, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia – and of course Kenya and its neighbors.  Similarly much of the plastic in the oceans around the United States and European countries will also have originated elsewhere. There is clearly a huge lag between the scale of the ocean plastic problem and the level of awareness about it among everyday consumers. So addressing the ocean plastic through campaigning and education locally and regionally where the impacts are greatest, will not create lasting change.  To do that requires a global story… a global PlasticRevolution.  

The Solution

Sir David Attenborough, Sylvia Earle, Markus Eriksen and others have done so much to highlight the solutions to plastic pollution.  You’ve probably heard of these giants of marine conservation – we want to take their messages to audiences who haven’t.  People that don’t speak or read English, that don’t own a television, who may never have seen the sea.


We are kickstarting a #plasticrevolution by building the world’s first 60ft boat out of recycled plastic and sailing it 5,000kms from Kenya to Cape Town, sharing solutions - changing mindsets along the way.

We have successfully completed the 20ft prototype and now ready to embark on the 60ft dhow. Waste plastics are used to construct the entire boat: the keel, ribs and structural elements from 60 tonnes of recycled plastic products including bottles and (approximately 5 million) bags, and the hull and decking will be covered completely by 200,000 washed up flip-flops. Despite the unusual materials, the vessel is being constructed by local craftsmen using traditional methods. This means no power tools and no computers… just centuries old knowledge.


We are turning trash into treasure - and in so doing, creating a powerful story for a global audience - to reduce, reuse and recycle and ultimately end single use plastic.  And with its simple messaging built around recycling the universally recognizable flipflop – an item of footwear worn by 3 billion people – The Flipflopi has the potential to do this.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

FlipFlopi Project

This project was nominated by: