An entrepreneur who has built an incredible floating island resort off the Ivory Coast using 700,000 pieces of plastic waste says he aims to foster ‘green tourism’.
This treasure island made of trash is a greener, more mobile kind of tourism
French entrepreneur Eric Becker has taken the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” to another level with a waterborne treasure island; complete with a hotel, two swimming pools and a karaoke bar. Becker’s ‘L’île Flottante’ — or ‘Floating Island’ — resort rests atop the surface of the lagoon in Abidjan, the economic centre of West Africa’s Ivory Coast, on a platform made from some 700,000 plastic bottles and other debris collected from the lagoon’s shoreline. Becker built the island to promote a greener and more mobile tourism — one that is less harmful to coastlines and seas than traditional, fixed resort constructions — with the hope of inspiring similar projects elsewhere.
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‘L’île Flottante’ houses two thatched bungalows, a restaurant, two small pools, various trees and shrubs and a walkway which loops out from the centre of the floating structure, which covers 10,700 square feet (1,000 sqm). — reported BrainBored
Visitors to the resort are brought to the island by boat. The island charges visitors 15,000 CFA francs (£19/$25) per day visit — which includes a meal and the ferry trip — or 60,000 CFA francs (£77/$100) for an overnight stay.
The island, which is moored in place, used to be Mr Becker’s home, before he converted it into a hotel last year. As a resort, L’île Flottante attracts around 100 customers each week — including both curious locals and ecotourists.
Becker had originally envisaged building a catamaran from discarded waste — but soon settled on making a floating island paradise after he saw the lagoon in Abidjan. He sold nearly everything he owned to make his unusual dream a reality.
His first step in constructing the island involved foraging for as much floating waste as he could lay his hands on — incorporating ‘plastic bottles, bits of polystyrene, even beach sandals’ into the structure.
Although the island can be moved to different locations, its present mooring has a pipe which brings drinking water across from the nearby shore. Electricity is provided by solar panels and a backup generator.
The island itself weighs around 200-tonnes at present, and is ideally suited for floating in the shallow waters of lagoon where it is isolated from the rougher nature of the ocean.
Becker sees the L’île Flottante resort as just as an initial example of the kinds of purposes these waste-based islands could be used for.
Please note: Mr. Becker is keen to stress that while his resort is greener than conventional hotels, it is not perfect and still carries with it an environmental cost. One such issue concerns the fact that the island’s occupation is adding to the lagoon’s ongoing pollution problem. Like the city of Abidjan, sewage created on L’île Flottante is presently released into the lagoon. Mr. Becker, however, is reportedly testing out technology that could allow human waste to be recycled into compost for the plants on the island.
Scroll down for images and video of the floating resort, and video of a man in Cameroon who makes seaworthy fishing boats from plastic bottles.
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