Lativan Festival Boasts Zany Recycled Milk Carton Boat Race (Video)

Photo: Apollo TV

Old milk cartons are often re-used for crafts, bird-feeders and other useful things, but a nutty festival in Lativa is taking it to a whole other level, where boats are made entirely of recycled milk cartons, and pitched against one another in a feverish race.

The rules are simple: vessels can be made only of empty milk cartons, be powered by elbow grease alone, and must make it across the finish line intact. But it's not as easy as it seems, as the following video shows, considering that each carton is capable of keeping only 800 grams afloat.

As Oddity Central recounts, each August the town of Jelgava on the Lielupe River hosts the Milk, Bread and Honey Festival, which promotes a healthy lifestyle revolving around the ingestion of locally-produced, organic dairy products. Open to both locals and companies, the festival's highlight occurs when teams of participants race wacky, makeshift boats assembled from thousands of old milk cartons, each with its own theme. Though there was no debate as to what kind of milk container is better (plastic versus Tetrapak-style versus PLA), it's still a wonderfully off-the-wall way to reuse what is actually discarded.

This year, 36 teams recycled over 45,000 milk cartons to construct their boats, battling it out for prizes offered to the fastest boat, the most original boat, and funniest boat (won by the "Swimming Pool" themed boat seen in the video.

Though the race course was only 50 metres (165 feet) long, windy weather forced some boaters to jump into the water in order to push their boats to the finish. Like building fantastic sculptures with donated cans or making awesome furniture out of old fridges, this festival definitely gives recycling a creative and exhilarating edge.

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