Many of us love to slip on a pair of flip flops when we are bound for the beach. But, have you ever stopped to think about what happens to those flip flops that get lost to the ocean, or damaged and doomed to the land fills?
What's the problem with flip flops?
Flip flops are well loved around the world, crowned the footwear of the beach. For half of the worlds population, these are the only type of shoe that people can afford. They will mend them with duct tape until the flip flops are no longer usable and then discard them in general waste. With the average lifespan of a pair of flip flops expected to be around 2 years, that's a lot of plastic waste that will ultimately end up in our oceans.
The effects of this can already be seen today. On the East African coast it is estimated that around 90 tons of discard flip flops are washed up on beaches each year! This is not only an eyesore but also hazardous to the health of wildlife and humans.
Back in March of 2019 scientists found a half eaten flip flop in the poop of an endangered giant Indian tortoise. This discovery was made during a huge clean up operation on the isolated Aldabra atoll, one of the most important turtle nesting islands in the Indian Ocean.
In September of 2020 researchers discovered that a vital refuge for rare wildlife, Aldabra, a remote atoll in the Indian Ocean had been polluted by a shockingly large amount of plastic waste. In fact it was the most plastic waste ever seen on any island! There was 513 tonnes of plastic which included 360,000 flip flops! Tragically turtles were seen attempting to nest on the beach amongst the flip flops and plastic waste. A 3 week long clean up took place but the struggle was getting the piles of plastic off the remote island. It is estimated that 95% of the plastic waste is still there and that it would take 18,000 more hours of labour to collect and remove it to the main Seychelles islands, 700 miles away.
Have you heard of Ocean Sole?
Thankfully, there are amazing companies out there, like Ocean Sole, doing incredible work in the fight against plastic pollution.
Ocean Sole has been working hard out in Kenya, cleaning over 1,000 tonnes of flip flops from the ocean and the waterways. Their founder was inspired in 1999 by children making toys from the old flip flops that were washing up and has since grown this incredible organisation. In 2017 they collected 520,000 flip flops from the beaches of Kenya and they continue to turn them into works of art.
In October 2020 spent a week on the Lamu Archipelago collecting tons of rubbish, they collected roughly 500 kg of flip flops alone! These flip flops were sent to Nairobi to be turned into their iconic flip flop art. Whilst they were there they took a look at the communities problem with disposing of waste and visited a seaside dumpsite because the Kenyan government have not provided the locals with the much needed infrastructure to sustainable collect and dispose of their rubbish.
You too can help to fight against this form of plastic pollution by ensuring that if you are buying flip flops you avoid the low quality plastic ones that might manage to last a year or so, there are a few companies out there provide sustainable and high quality flip flops. We have even seen one company that will recycle your old plastic flip flops!
Free Opal Ocean Flip Flop Necklace
Avoid the plastic flip flops that pollute our oceans and make a pledge today to buy ocean friendly footwear, many places still supply and make canvas shoes, free from plastic and often more durable and comfortable than plastic flip-flops!
We are celebrating Flip Flop Day with a FREE Opal Ocean Flip Flop Necklaces, with all orders over $35! Usually $89.95, don't miss this opportunity to get it for free, simply place your order and the free gift will be added to you cart automatically.
*Please note that this offer does not work with all discount codes, apply a discount code might result in the free gift not being applied.
1] Blue Ocean Network - Flip Flop Facts: Find Out, Robert Frerck
2] Ocean Sole - About Us
3] Ocean Sole - Ocean Sole Has Recently Spent A Whole Week On The Lamu Archipelago (2nd October 2020)
4] Sky News - Plastic pollution: Aldabra in Indian Ocean has most waste ever seen on any island, say scientists, Thomas Moore (10th September 2020)
5] Sky News - Plastic pollution: Flip-flop found in poo of endangered Indian Ocean tortoise, Thomas Moore (1st March 2019)