The world’s first recycled plastic sailing dhow on Thursday began a mission in Africa’s largest freshwater lake to raise awareness about plastic pollution, according to the UN.

“Flipflopi, the world’s first sailing boat made from 100% recycled plastic, is joining forces with the UN Environment Programme’s Clean Seas Campaign once more, this time embarking on an expedition by sailing around Africa’s largest freshwater ecosystem – Lake Victoria,” the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a report.

“The voyage aims to send an urgent message to the East Africa community on the need to end the unnecessary single-use plastic scourge that is threatening the region,” it said.

UNEP cited a study that indicated that one in five fish in Lake Victoria “had ingested plastic.”

Flipflopi has a three-week plan of sailing from Kisumu, Kenya to various locations in Uganda and Tanzania, “raising awareness and inspiring communities to adopt circular-waste solutions to beat plastic pollution.”

According to the report, the coronavirus showed the urgent need to handle the environmental crises.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need to address the myriad environmental crises, which can only be done through regional and global consensus on key issues like single-use plastic, and climate change,” Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) was quoted in the report.

“Flipflopi is a great African example of the circular economy in action; we are proud to see it start this new journey around Lake Victoria, a shared resource that we must do all we can to protect,” added Msuya.

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