The Evolved Man of the Week: Ismael Essome Ebone

Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profiles. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to Chief Executive Officer and Director of Operations at Madiba & Nature, Cameroon native, and inventor, Ismael Essome Ebone.

Ismael is the one man in Cameroon is making boats from plastic trash. Around the world and the clock, a staggering 1 million plastic bottles are sold every minute, and many of those end up in the ocean instead of recycling bins. A new and different way of reusing plastic bottles, this innovative “bottle-boat” could help redefine fishing methods in the Kibri region of Cameroon. Each canoe is made from 1000 discarded plastic bottles and can carry three people up to a total weight of 270 kg or 595 lbs. 

The canoe is the brainchild of young entrepreneurIsmaël Essome Ebone, who created non-profit Madiba & Nature to fight the devastating effects of waste plastic on the environment. Ismaël Essome Ebone was first inspired to build his “EcoBoats” as a student back in 2011. He had just taken shelter from a thunderstorm blowing through his neighborhood when he saw several plastic bottles floating by on some passing floodwaters. He then built a boat from plastic bottles collected from around the town and waited to test it until another storm blew in. To the astonishment of the fishermen watching from the shore, Ebone’s boat worked like a dream.

Ebone collects plastic bottles of various shapes and sizes, uses codes to bind them together to produce different sizes of boats that can be used for tourism and fishing. He works with other youth to create the vessels that also contribute to promoting sustainable artisanal fishing and ecotourism, through the provision of recycled ecological canoes for neighboring communities.

Here is Ismael in his own words in how he is turning the blight of plastic waste into a positive:

“The EcoBin makes it easier to collect plastic bottles in a smart way and avoid polluting rivers and the ocean in Kribi and Douala!” … “From plastic waste to EcoBoat and EcoBin, the revolution is on the way.”

Today we honor Ismael Essome Ebone as our Evolved Man of the Week.


Ismael 1

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