Thursday, December 10, 2009

Flip flops — a global hazard?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Creativity. What an amazing solution finder.

The once-pristine Nyongo Sharif beach along Kenya’s northern coast, near the border with Somalia, seems an unlikely dumping ground for the world’s plastic garbage. But the Somali upwelling, a powerful current, sometimes tosses rubbish onto the beach from as far away as Indonesia; and when the current reverses course, it hurls another load up from Southern Africa, as far afield as Mozambique.

High in the list of flotsam is one of the most ubiquitous and least noticed symbols of modern society: the flip flop.

“Flip-flops are a global problem, just one indicator of the myriad rubbish in the sea, which we are treating as the world’s dumping ground,” Julie Church, a marine biologist, said recently by telephone from Nairobi.

“Tons and tons and tons of plastic waste, including flip-flops, flow down rivers and clog drainage systems, and animals are swallowing them,” she said.

Looking for at least a partial solution, Ms. Church has started a company making toys and gifts from reclaimed flip-flop plastic, for sale in eco-fashion boutiques in the United States.

Read more, and find out how toxic your cheap, plastic footwear can be, from The New York Times' Sarah J. Wachter by clicking here.

Check out some of the cool things you can do with flip flops below, them support these artists and their earth-friendly work by buying their products here.

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