One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – or in this case boat-building materials.
While it can be hard to know which of the many ecological crises facing our planet to focus on (what with wildfires raging out of control in Australia due to climate change) one major ongoing issue is trash disposal, particularly the disposal of plastic. Plastic bottles are clogging dumps, landfills, and waterways all over the world despite the best efforts of people who actually recycle.
But not everyone has given up hope.
Now one student innovator from Cameroon is putting all those empty bottles to practical use – by building boats out of them [to help his community. He calls these 100% recycled vessels “EcoBoats.”
Ismaël Essome Ebone came up with the idea in 2011 and after seeing how well the bottle-based boats functioned turned his idea into a nonprofit called Madiba & Nature that collects bottles and turns them into boats.
One major motivation for Ebone was to help combat a major problem he was seeing in his region of Cameroon where discarded plastic bottles were clogging waterways and worsening the effects of flooding. He also saw a great need for fishing boats, so he got creative and turned the problem into the solution.
According to Evolve, the Cameroonian government has joined forces with Essome Ebone and constructed “Eco Bins” to aid with the collection of bottles.
These then get bound together and turned into EcoBoats and are used by local fishermen.