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Plastic waste transformed into floating islands to help restore African lake’s ecosystem

BioHaven Plastic Floating Island

Even as more plastic waste accumulates in our oceans, creative minds are devising innovative ways to reuse post-consumer plastic to help our environment. Such is the case of the German REWE Group which plans to create plastic floating islands planted with papyrus, then use them to help rebuild the ecosystem of Africa’s Lake Naivasha.

Lake Naivasha

The papyrus restoration partnership between UK-owned tea producer and flower grower Finlays and Dr David Harper, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Leicester, is intended to revitalize the decimated lakeshore papyrus which traditionally act as biofilters for the once crystal-clear lake in Kenya’s Rift Valley and, hopefully, dramatically improve and restore the lake’s water quality.

Papyrus roots on plastic floating island

These BioHaven Floating Islands, made from recycled polyester drink bottles by U.S.-based Floating Island Southeast, will be anchored in the mouth of the main river, the Malewa, once the papyrus has been planted to trap silt before it reaches the lake. If successful, more island will be planted at other locations around the lake’s shoreline. Let’s hope that this is the first step to a full restoration of this once beautiful lake.

Debra Atlas is a freelance environmental writer and eco-enthusiast based in Northern California, and is the Red Ferret’s Ecological Editor. Debra looks for the upside of eco-change – what’s positive, making a difference. She hunts down those interesting things cooked up by creative minds, especially if they’re strange and eccentric.

Debra Atlas – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • Now… that… is reuse in action!

  • It's nice to see green or environment friendly projects. Plastic is not really a problem to the environment but it depends on the people that use it and how they throw their garbage. Waste management is the word.

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