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Kenya Craftsmen To build Boat Out Of Plastic Waste

LAMU, Kenya (Reuters) – The beaches of Kenya’s idyllic Lamu island are dotted with traditional Swahili stone and coral homes, mansions built by European royalty, the odd donkey and, more and more, tidal traces of plastic trash.

When a resident organized a beach clean-up that collected 33 tons of rubbish in a single summer season, British-Ethiopian safari organizer Ben Morrison determined he could not stand by whereas his beloved island was ruined.

So the tall, bearded forty two-12 months-old decided to try to design a traditional dhow, or sailing boat, from recycled plastic, offering a market to recyclers and persuading locals to conserve shrinking woodland.

“It is getting harder and harder for boat builders to find wood. I hope that this venture will enable the historic skills of boat building to reside on, by shifting from ever-scarce wood to plastic,” Morrison instructed Reuters.

Plastic pollution is a growing global downside, with patches of sea bigger than some countries covered stone island 501a3 in plastic soup that strangles or poisons wildlife. The U.N. says by 2050, there will be extra plastic within the ocean than fish except drastic action is taken.

In August, Kenya launched one of the world’s toughest bans on plastic luggage mandating 4 years in prison or a effective of $40,000 for even using one.

The East African country is now contemplating measures to regulate plastic bottles, mentioned John Konchellah, chairman of the National Surroundings Management Authority.

“We wish to see plastic bottles out of circulation,” he told Reuters. “We want to borrow some know-how from the region like PETCO in South Africa, where main manufacturers got here along with a body that recycles plastic bottles.”

Petco is an organization formed by the South African plastics industry to recycle some types of plastic.
Morrison, working with eight professional Kenyan boat builders, is using plastic planks from the fledgling local recycling industry to construct his boat, which he hopes to sail to Cape Town in South Africa.

“We struggle to supply a constant material out of the recycled plastic,” he said. “It isn’t simple. Sometimes we receive plastic planks from the factory that are full of air bubbles. We will not build with them and so now we have to start out from the beginning again.”

Ali Skanda, a 44-yr-outdated master boat builder, said in his childhood there was no litter on Lamu’s sandy golden beaches – just fishermen, dhows and donkeys. Now many donkeys are dying from eating plastic, he mentioned – and so are turtles, cows and other animals.

“Initially I assumed it was a loopy idea. How may I build a ship out of plastic ” he asked. “Some people have been asking what we can do about this problem. There is a lot plastic scattered.

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