Flip-flop recycling has begun in earnest in Mafia Island! After months of fund raising, Sea Sense has launched an exciting new project in partnership with Ocean Sole Foundation, a Kenyan based organisation that recycles over 400,000 flip-flops each year.
Ocean Sole have spent the past two weeks with Sea Sense in Mafia Island, sharing their knowledge and expertise on flip-flop recycling. Mafia is Tanzania’s most important sea turtle nesting site but nesting beaches are continually covered in large amounts of plastic waste that washes in on the east African current. Plastic debris poses a serious threat to female turtles trying to find a safe place to lay their eggs and emerging hatchlings struggle to climb over piles of flip-flops and plastic bottles.
But things are changing in Mafia! Flip-flops are no longer seen as a waste product and trash is being turned into treasure. A group of 20 local men and women in Mafia have been trained and are already producing stunning pieces of jewellery from discarded flip-flops. Sea Sense have named the product ‘Life is a beach bracelet’ and aim is to sell one million bracelets across the world in a bid to connect people with the oceans. The bracelets tell a wonderful story of cleaning our oceans, protecting the habitats of globally threatened marine wildlife and improving the lives of local communities through trade based enterprise. Within the next few weeks, the bracelets will be on sale at a number of hotels, lodges and shops across Tanzania.
This project would not have been possible without generous support from Bora Industries Ltd, and to all who contributed to the Nipe Fagio “Trashed” fund raiser. Thank you !!!
For more information see www.seasense.org
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