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The Inertia

In Kenya, using a plastic bag could land you a $38,000 fine or up to four years in prison. It’s the strictest penalty of its kind in the world.

The law, which went into effect back in 2017,  has seen mixed success – according to a recent article in National Geographic, the director general of Kenya’s National Environmental Management Authority conceded the initial roll-out was messy. And enforcement has been somewhat spotty.

Still, Kenyans by and large are changing their habits and seeking to find innovative solutions to the plastic that litters the streets by giving it a second life.


It’s in that spirit that boat builder Ali Skanda and the team behind the FlipFlopi Project constructed the world’s first dhow – a traditional Indian Ocean sailing vessel – entirely out of plastic waste. The ship was launched late last year and has successfully sailed one voyage, from Lamu, Kenya to Zanzibar, with more voyages planned.

The film above not only highlights the FlipFlopi Project build, but also how life has transformed in Kenya in the years since the world’s strictest plastic bag ban has been instituted.



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