Irresponsible is the way many people use the beaches. This becomes clearer when you stumble upon the abandoned flipflops floating around or resting on the shores. These huge piles of flipflops are proving to be an eco-disaster, to say the least.
It is in the juncture a tiny outfit called Ocean Sole, manned by people who work on marine conservation with local communities have come up with an answer to thwart the impending disaster on Kenya’s coasts.
Realising that the flipflops have been tainting the beauty of the sun kissed beaches, blocking waterways and killing fish and baby turtles, Ocean Sole has roped in local artisans to recycle the abandoned flipflops into toy animals for kids. The result is a bunch of colourful toys that send out a message on the need to safeguard the environment.
Ocean Sole has set a goal of recycling 400,000 flipflops a year. The environment foundation, which was founded in 1997 by a Kenyan marine conservationist, thought of doing this when it was found that local children on the beach were collecting flipflops and playing with them as toys.
The new initiative is now providing an opportunity for employment for many mothers and jobless citizens who live by the beach. The outfit has successfully managed to recycle about 220 pounds of flipflops a week, and sell the animal toys and sculptures to zoos and museums the world over.