Over 300 people, 450 bags of rubbish

2019-06-18 06:00
Business owners, residents, tourists and leaners teamed up to clean Simon’s Town.

Business owners, residents, tourists and leaners teamed up to clean Simon’s Town.

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More than 300 residents and members of various organisations banded together to clean up Simon’s Town and bring more awareness to the issue of environmental preservation, on World Ocean Day.

Alison Bannister, a resident who is passionate about saving the environment, is the mastermind behind the initiative called Clean Simon’s Town.

She approached Cape RADD, the Glass Recycling Company, Prasa, the Simon’s Town Civic Association, Simon’s Town Business Association and a number of other organisations just two weeks before the proposed clean-up to help her get it off the ground on Saturday 8 June, World Ocean Day.

“Cape RADD co-host lots of clean-ups with other initiatives and wanted to support the Clean Simon’s Town initiative as Simon’s Town is where we operate from. So many local businesses and local people supported us, it was incredible! SANparks, the police, local schools … they were all there,” said Jessica Finlay, from Cape RADD – a marine conservation organisation and platform for marine researchers in Cape Town.

Bannister was ecstatic at the turnout for the clean-up, reporting that there were more than 450 bags of litter that were collected between Simon’s Town and Glencairn during the clean-up from 10:00 to 12:30. “The response from the public was beyond what I could imagine and in reality, it was a response to the horrific litter in the area and in the oceans,” she said.

This sentiment was echoed by resident, Pamela Gush, who attended with many of the ratepayers from Glencairn to help address the litter problem. “We’ve spoken to the council and nothing ever gets done. The rubbish has been there for so long that we even found a piece of a motorcycle (despite no recent accidents taking place).”

Bannister explained that it was by activating the community that they were able to achieve these massive numbers and have such a great impact cleaning up the litter in the area. Floating bins were also placed in the ocean with divers who were collecting the waste they found floating around, as far as Muizenberg.

Finlay said that on the same day Cape RADD had organised another successful clean-up on Monwabisi Beach, and was able to then use their resources to tackle problems in a number of areas.

Finlay continued: “It is important to clean our coasts on any day, however, the internationally recognised days help spread awareness to those who perhaps are unaware of the conservation issues that we face, so it is a great way of engaging new and enthusiastic eco-warriors to get involved and spread the word and movement even further afield.”

All the people who took the time out to take part in the clean-up were fuelled by the energy and passion on the day, which was described as contagious. “Everyone was smiling. There were people of all ages and abilities, all kinds of business owners, residents, tourists. It was amazing to see everyone spread out over the land, railway and in the sea,” Finlay concluded.

Clean Simon’s Town and Cape RADD intend to continue to raise awareness of the pollution problem and help to conserve the oceans.

V For more information or to volunteer, contact Cape RADD on 062 051 0657.

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