Recyling Project Creates Colorful Sculptures

      

How do we get rid of the masses of plastic and floating islands of debris from our oceans?   One small business in Kenya came up with an  innovative solution.

Most people think of flip-flops as casual, colorful and cute beachwear. But in fact, for over 3 billion people, they are the only pair of “shoes” that they own. In Africa, India, and other hot climates, billions of cheap flip-flops are produced and used daily.   They’re worn for years, and after wearing out, are discarded and eventually find their way into dump sites, and seep into waterways ….  and ultimately the oceans. The huge masses of discarded flip flops block waterways for fresh water and kill everything in their way.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) based in Nairobi, it is estimated that an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic and synthetic materials (flip-flops) are floating on every square kilometer of ocean, and that the impacts of this pollution generates a cost of over $8 billion a year – $334 million of that attributed directly to flip-flops.


As an example in Kenya alone, one cheap factory not only burns coal and oil, hires cheap labor and uses plastic to make over 100,000 flip-flops a day — 3.65 million flip-flops annually.

in the late 1990s, in Kiwayu, Kenya, tons of flip-flop pollution was washing up onto the beaches daily, creating an environmental disaster for the marine ecosystem and local communities.

But an innovative company in Nairobi – Ocean Sole – came up with a creative solution to the problem by transforming over 50 tons a year of discarded flip-flops and re-cycling them into art. The social enterprise company understands that  more awareness is essential to the growing flip-flop problem that is cluttering our Earth.

 

Inspired by the toys children were making from flip-flop debris, Julie Church, the founder of Ocean Sole, encouraged mothers to collect, wash, and cut the discarded flip-flops into colorful products.

In 2000, the company began to sell their first products commercially in Nairobi, Kenya. At the same time, they received their first commercial order from WWF Switzerland for 15,000 turtles. Early in 2000 Ocean Sole partnered with UNEP to raise awareness.

By 2005, the company, was established to promote “trade not aid” and began selling colourful and fun art and functional products to raise awareness of flip-flop pollution and improve local poverty. Since that time, Ocean Sole has cleaned up over 1,000 tons of flip-flops from the ocean and waterways in Kenya, provided income to over 150 low-income Kenyans and has contributed over 10% of its revenue to marine conservation programs.

In 2007 they hosted the largest  International Coast Clean-up (ICC) in Kenya. The growth of Ocean Sole has been phenomenal and the products and misson have become internationally recognized, sold and displayed in Rome, London, New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Singapore and Australia. The company grew from three employees to over fifty; and in 2013 it launched a foundation to help the conservation movement.

Ocean Sole moved to an art and cultural village, working with UNEP, UNESCO, UNDP and UNIC on a three year journey to focus on conservation entrepreneurship, supporting local Kenyans with recycling programs, establish new global distribution partners and create a new visual identity about flip-flops pollution destruction to both humans and marine life.

 

Some of the artworks that have been created:

Originally made for the London Zoo, the design for this Panda is carved by Raphael Kangutu. Trained in Gikomba, Kenya’s largest market, he was once a wood artist who came to Ocean Sole and was trained to make new sculptures from up-cycled flip-flops Also carved by Kangutu, Simba the lion (see below the article) has become the premium of their Safari Collection, available in all sizes and colors.

 

The Manta Ray is anr endangered species – this one is carved by Jonathan Lenato. He has carved many works for Ocean Sole, and he is working on a life-size Rhino that is going to a corporate headquarters in Amsterdam.

David Kaloki has carved the beautiful African elephant which in life-size is put into office lobbies.

The Rhino is another popular carving and the African rhino is another species at risk. To bring awareness of their plight, the carvings come in all sizes and color as well as life-size. This one has been carved by Munyao Mwnangangi

 

Ocean Sole will also design installation art, lobby sculptures, garden pieces and any type of art. The motto of the company is

Art is our speciality and creating masterpieces is our favorite activity.”

Additional information about Ocean Sole is on their website at:

www.oceansole.co.ke

Karen Village, Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya

+254 727 531 301

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Ship Designed to Remove Plastic Waste from the Oceans

Kjell Inge Røkke, a Norwegian billionaire,  is investing a large portion of his $2.7 billion wealth into building a recyling mega yacht.

The Research Expedition Vessel (REV) is a 600-foot ship that will cruise the ocean’s waters sucking up plastic waste. Capable of accumulating and recycling up to 5 tons of plastic per day, the REV will also double as a mobile laboratory for sciences to monitor and observe the ocean’s ecosystems.  Biuilt in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, the REV has been designed to have the highest environmental standards.

The REV will also be self-sustainable in terms of funding – the facilities can be reserved for private charters, accommodating up to 36 guests and 54 crew members. On a more daily basis, however, the ship will be playing host to 60 scientists and 40 crew members.

The scientists on board will have access to some of the most hi-tech research equipment available to them in order to properly observe the seas. Røkke hopes that the team will be able to utilize these facilities to discover new ways in assisting and nourishing the ocean’s struggling ecosystems.

“I am a fisherman, and curious by nature,” says Røkke. “Resources in the oceans and on the seabed have provided significant value for society – and also for my family and myself. For this, I am very grateful.”

“However, the oceans are also under greater pressure than ever before from overfishing, coastal pollution, habitat destruction, climate change and ocean acidification, and one of the most pressing challenges of all, plasticization of the ocean. The need for knowledge and solutions is pressing.”

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Environmental film, Before the Flood, available for viewing

The critically important film about the environment,  “Before the Flood, has been posted on the Mercola.com website.

Produced by National Geographic,  actor, environmental activist and United Nations messenger Leonardo DiCaprio explores what must be done to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on planet Earth.

We all accept that we are harming this planet to our own detriment and we must stop our wasteful and polluting ways. Whether you are an adversary or proponent of the highly politicized phrase “climate change,” the solutions we need to implement for our long-term viability are obvious, necessary and beneficial for everyone that desires a regenerative world.

You can view it here:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/05/20/before-the-flood-climate-change.aspx