THE FLIP FLOPI SETS SAIL
SeaPigs are not just in it for ourselves. We care about everyone and we support any effort to help and heal our Tiny Blue Dot. That’s why we support the Flip Flopi: an innovative effort to sail a boat made out 30,000 discarded plastic flip flops along the east coast of Africa to raise awareness of the dangers of single-use plastics. The Flip Flopi has just set sail, so just like SeaPigs, it is at the beginning of its journey with several other voyages planned for the future until some change takes place.
The plastic problem is critical. That much is clear. SeaPigs care deeply for the environment and we Love Our Tiny Blue Dot, so we support the work of others just as much as we promote our own efforts. One of these efforts is the Flip Flopi development currently taking place in Kenya. The Flip Flopi is a boat created entirely out of plastic in a bid to raise awareness of the excess amounts of plastic we are dealing with on our beaches and in our oceans. The aim of the project is to sail this boat along the east African coast from Kenya to Zanzibar. The boat is made entirely from plastic and 30,000 flip flops, and the central message aligns with the SeaPigs belief that single-use plastic doesn’t make sense. The 500km journey will involve conversations with lawmakers about the things that can be done to combat the issue.
By 2050, 99% of sea birds will have ingested plastic and the ratio of fish to plastic by weight will be equal. 12.2 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year. These shocking statistics show to just what extent that time is running out. When a plastic carrier bag takes over 500 years to degrade it’s more than a warning, it’s a crisis that’s already happening. That one plastic bag full of a load of other plastic bags you keep in your kitchen cupboard for when you need it will last longer than your family line probably will, and nobody cares because if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind and it’s a problem that we seemingly don’t have to deal with. It is an issue that all of us need to get involved in solving.
Just like SeaPigs, the Flip Flopi’s journey is just beginning and their potential is unbelievable. They have a team that is influential and committed to solving the plastic problem, and just like us they have a bit of local flavour - while SeaPigs is inspired by the beaches of Tynemouth, one of the brains of the Flip Flopi operation, Simon Scott-Harden, studied at Northumbria University where we are based in Newcastle. In a world where people are just starting to understand the magnitude of the issue and countries are finally starting to put a tax on plastic, projects like the Flip Flopi are essential. Only 14% of plastic produced is recycled. Does it even need clarifying that this percentage is not enough? We may be doing something but we need to be doing more.
The Flip Flopi and SeaPigs are both environmentally focused efforts at the beginning of a long journey - whether a metaphorical one like ours or a literal one like the Flip Flopi’s voyage along the East African coast - and we wish them all the best on their various planned expeditions. Hopefully they will bring about some meaningful change, and we might just do that too.
If you want to follow the Flip Flopi’s progress, their website is theflipflopi.com, which provides links to all of their social media platforms.
Over and snout,