Tackling plastic pollution through an innovative ‘full-systems’ approach to waste management that is bringing peri-urban coastal communities into the circular economy

The Flipflopi Project

Plastic pollution is a global problem harming public health, natural ecosystems, and economies. While richer countries produce nearly 10 times more plastic per capita compared to low-income countries, low-income countries due to their inadequate waste mana

The Flipflopi project uses a systemic approach to build working replicable models for circularity of plastics in peri-urban areas that have little-to-no waste management and rapidly growing populations. We are pioneering the solution across the Lamu Archipelago, Kenya through a community-centred approach, localising recycling and culturally-relevant production for income generation, building skills through vocational training, while advocating for the elimination of single-use plastics at a local and regional level through legislation and public awareness. Through community networks, plastics are recovered with hard plastics that are recycled into planks used to make high-quality products rooted in local and maritime heritage, including artisanal furniture and boats, therefore enabling a localised circular economy inspired by and preserving indigenous skills and heritage. The low-tech manufacturing process was pioneered with the construction of the world's first 100% recycled plastic sailing dhow in 2019, that became East Africa’s symbol in the fight against single-use plastic. Having demonstrated the feasibility, we are ready to take the next stage to establishing innovative business solutions to sustain the model. Business interests are developed to co-exist with core beliefs to serve the community and protect the environment, and generate social, environmental and financial value (revenue). Our integrated business model is split into two: 1. A service subsidisation/organisational support model that sells high-end heritage products made from plastic waste to sustain social programs, mainly plastic pollution prevention initiatives. Furthermore, through this model, we also leverage our teams’ expertise through hosting vocational training programmes for youth. 2. A cooperative model targeted at local boat users, including boat taxi operators and artisanal fishermen. In this model, we design and craft the boat and then engage in a cooperative model where communities can use the boat to generate income and access markets.

Lamu Archipelago, Kenya
Lamu Archipelago, Kenya
Stop Pollution
Vote this Idea