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Floating trash turned into island of fun

Entrepreneur makes re-purposing recreational

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (KYMA, KSWT, KECY/NBC News) - A french entrepreneur has turned a massive pile of plastic waste into a place where people can play.

Eric Becker originally came to the Ivory Coast in 2012 to build a pleasure cruise business. Instead of discovering paradise, he found miles of waste and plastic piled up along the shores of what should have been a pristine lagoon.

Becker found inspiration instead of feeling despair. He decided to re-purpose the garbage and make it a personal paradise.

It took Becker six-years to collect trash and test its strength. He then used everything from plastic, to polystyrene, to abandoned flip flops to build his own personal island. It now floats atop some 700-thousand plastic water bottles.

The island is completely solar-powered. Becker's also used compost to grown some grass. Water has to be pumped in from the mainland because the lagoon water is still too polluted for human use.

That isn't stopping people from flocking to the island. Becker says he gets about a hundred guests a week.

He doesn't think his island will change the world, but he hopes it might change some people's perspective on the power of recycling.


Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she has a long history with the Desert Southwest.


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