Photo on WIomsa
Photo on FlipFlopi

Ben Morison















What makes Ben Morison a Global Shaker?

Ben Morison is the founder of FlipFlopi, which has built the world’s first 9-metre sailing boat made entirely from waste plastic. The garbage was picked up from towns and beaches in Kenya, and the boat was covered in 30,000 recovered flip flops.

“We did it to prove that single-use plastics don’t make sense,” FlipFlopi writes on its website, adding that the transport was used for a 500 kilometre awareness-raising voyage from Kenya to Tanzania.

“Now our hope is to take the plastic revolution from Africa to the world. By building a much bigger ocean-faring boat, our aim is to sail around the world to connect corporates, individuals, and law-makers who hold the keys to turning the tide on plastic,” the organisation adds.

“Wherever you may live, the reality is that we are all standing on the edge of a global calamity. Urgent actions are needed, so we urge you all to join the #plasticrevolution and make your voice heard! “

As part of this drive, FlipFlopi has just set up a petition urging the Governments of East Africa to ban single-use plastics.

It calls for one million signatures to ensure that action is taken as soon as possible. “We are literally breathing and eating our own waste,” the petition says. It has four key elements:

  • To ban single use plastic items, specifically those that are not essential and are impossible to recycle or cannot be fully recycled
  • To provide incentives to businesses to manufacture affordable and environmentally-friendly alternatives to banned items
  • To invest in waste management infrastructure, ensuring products are properly disposed of and given a second life.
  • To make producers responsible for their waste, manufacturers are held accountable for ensuring their waste does not end up in the environment.

“There is no doubt — plastic pollution is one of the biggest catastrophes of our time. In 2050 there will be as much plastic by weight as fish in our oceans,” the petition reads.

On social media, FlipFlopi shares stories about how nearby countries, including Senegal and Rwanda, are taking action to tackle the plastic menace.

Before FlipFlopi, Morison worked for an African-focused travel business. He realised that the Indian Ocean coastline was being degraded at an alarming rate by plastic — and by “flip flops in particular” — so decided to set up FlipFlopi.

The organisation was founded alongside Ali Skanda, a master boat builder whose work is on show in the National Museum in Washington DC, and Dipesh Pabari, who spent years building giant size sculptures from flip flops, and houses, water tanks and other structures from plastic bottles.

Tags: Africa, Climate crisis, Kenya, plastic pollution

Last updated: March 3, 2020