Eateries ban plastic to curb ‘catastrawphe’

2018-05-17 06:00
Nina’s Real Food in Jeffreys Bay has been at the forefront of the move to save our oceans. Rightfully so, as the gorgeous Smithsters, as the owners’ daughters are affectionately known, are surfers who have made their mark on the wave world. “We cannot enjoy the ocean and allow it to be polluted”, says Emma Smith.                     Photo:MARINDA VISSER-HOUGH

Nina’s Real Food in Jeffreys Bay has been at the forefront of the move to save our oceans. Rightfully so, as the gorgeous Smithsters, as the owners’ daughters are affectionately known, are surfers who have made their mark on the wave world. “We cannot enjoy the ocean and allow it to be polluted”, says Emma Smith. Photo:MARINDA VISSER-HOUGH

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HAVE you been “deprived” of your usual plastic straw at your favourite restaurant?

It is because they care...

The damage to our planet because of our deadly plastic footprint and blasé approach towards how this impacts on the environment, have prompted various local restaurants and hot spots to ban items that are non-biodegradable.

Some patrons go so far as to boycott places that do not promote awareness of the damage done by the unchecked use of plastic.

In Jeffreys Bay the Kouga Express sought out some eateries that have joined the worldwide move.

Worldwide move

There is a worldwide awareness campaign to limit the devastating effect, and locally the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town is calling on all South Africans to put down their drinking straws because we are facing a “catastrawphe”, and something must be done to save our seas.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), at current rates of pollution, there will likely be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.

In December 2017 South Africa joined the other 193 UN countries and signed a resolution to help eliminate marine litter and microplastics in the sea.

Once in the ocean, plastic can take hundreds of years to degrade, all the while breaking down into smaller and smaller “microplastics” – which can be consumed by marine animals and find their way into the human food chain.

JBay gets on board

Amadeo Bisogno, owner of Fifth Wave Coffee, the hip JBay hotspot, concurs.

“People have become more conscious about their environmental footprint. It is like the third wave in coffee - an elevated consciousness in consumerism; being mindful of consumption and coming to the end of excess.”

“The focus is turning to quality, and being aware of how we impact on our living-space.”

He states: It can be status-driven where owners want the label of being environment-conscious or about truly caring about what you do to the environment.

It has evolved from the mere supply and demand to where does the product come from and where will it end up?

Is it harming the environment?

“By selling the take-away cup it evokes a ‘thought’ (causing awareness) between buying the cup and actually sipping the coffee,” says Amadeo.

In tune with food

InFood boldly states on its restaurant wall: “Refuse the straw. That single straw in your cocktail or coffee will be on the planet forever. It takes 200 years to break down... into tiny toxic particles.

“The UK and US toss nearly 550 millions of plastic straws PER DAY. Very little is recycled, and much ends up in the ocean. A healthy ocean provides resilience. “

Jayne Davies, owner of the InFood group, supports this drive.

We support

Nina’s Real Food in Jeffreys Bay has been at the forefront of the move to save our oceans.

Rightfully so, as the gorgeous Smithsters, as the owners’ daughters are affectionately known, are surfers who have made their mark on the wave world.

“We cannot enjoy the ocean and allow it to be polluted”, says Emma Smith.

“We live and surf in the best spot in the world and are responsible to actively conserve and preserve what we have been gifted.”

Emma: We, of all people, cannot allow our business to add to any damage of this precious environment.

“It is awful to see a perfect wave that is marred by a plastic straw, bag or cup. That means people are just plain lazy and do not care or are not aware of the damage to our ocean.”

“It seems like a small step, to go from plastic to biodegradable straws (Biostraws) or bamboo straws, but the impact is significant”, concludes Emma.

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