A little less ocean rubbish

2015-09-22 06:00


Globally, the number one item found on beaches is cigarette butts, but an assortment of litter, even including shoes, are removed from the beaches.

PHOTO: 
Renée Leeuwner.

Globally, the number one item found on beaches is cigarette butts, but an assortment of litter, even including shoes, are removed from the beaches. PHOTO: Renée Leeuwner.

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Capetonians pulled up their sleeves and slipped on some gloves in an effort to reduce refuse in our seas.

International Coastal Cleanup Day took place on Saturday, and is an international event which started in 1986 and has since grown into a global initiative.

Volunteers are issued with data cards and each item collected is recorded on these cards. After this worldwide event, global data on the waste in our oceans is collated.

Last year 560 000 volunteers in 91 countries picked up more than 7,2 million kilograms of trash during the event. South Africa had 3208 participants who contributed more than 11 000 kilograms of trash to these statistics

Globally, the number one item found was cigarette butts at more than 2,2 million.

Enough bottle caps to cover seven tennis courts were collected.

The weight of the plastic shopping bags collected equals that of three manatees.

Some of the strange things picked up include bowling balls, a lawnmower and a wheelbarrow.

Our oceans have become the garbage dump for humans, Two Oceans Aquarium spokesperson Renée Leeuwner.

“It is easy to think that our actions on land do not affect the oceans, but the exact opposite is true. According to Ocean Conservancy, between 5 and 12 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean annually due to land-based activities.”

Not only is marine litter unsightly, but it also poses a danger to marine life, Leeuwner explains.

“During our rehabilitation work with endangered sea turtles we have found plastic pieces, bits of balloons and pieces of plastic bags in the gastro-intestinal tracts, bladders and body cavities of hatchlings, sub-adults and adults,” said Leeuwner.

A new study led by researchers from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has recently found that nine out of ten sea birds have ingested plastic. The study has also predicted that within the next 35 years, 99% of all seabirds will be victim to plastic ingestion.

Capetonians pulled up their sleeves and slipped on some gloves in an effort to reduce refuse in our seas.

International Coastal Cleanup Day took place on Saturday, and is an international event which started in 1986 and has since grown into a global initiative.

Volunteers are issued with data cards and each item collected is recorded on these cards. After this worldwide event, global data on the waste in our oceans is collated.

Last year 560 000 volunteers in 91 countries picked up more than 7,2 million kilograms of trash during the event. South Africa had 3 208 participants who contributed more than 11 000 kilograms of trash to these statistics

Globally, the number one item found was cigarette butts – more than 2,2 million.

Enough bottle caps to cover seven tennis courts were collected.

The weight of the plastic shopping bags collected equals that of three manatees.

Some of the strange things picked up include bowling balls, a lawnmower and a wheelbarrow.

Our oceans have become the garbage dump for humans, Two Oceans Aquarium spokesperson Renée Leeuwner.

“It is easy to think that our actions on land do not affect the oceans, but the exact opposite is true. According to Ocean Conservancy, between 5 and 12 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean annually due to land-based activities.”

Not only is marine litter unsightly, but it also poses a danger to marine life, Leeuwner explains.

“During our rehabilitation work with endangered sea turtles we have found plastic pieces, bits of balloons and pieces of plastic bags in the gastro-intestinal tracts, bladders and body cavities of hatchlings, sub-adults and adults,” said Leeuwner.

A new study led by researchers from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has recently found that nine out of ten sea birds have ingested plastic.

The study has also predicted that within the next 35 years, 99% of all seabirds will be victim to plastic ingestion

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