Biggest volunteer effort ever for coast clean-up

2017-09-28 06:01

Despite inclement weather experienced during International Coast Clean-up Day, 2017 would be remembered for having one of the best turn-outs of volunteers who freely offered up their time to participate in picking up litter from beaches.

“We can definitely say that we saw an increase in the number of community groups, schools and businesses who participated in this year’s ICC,” said Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director: Plastics|SA.

“Approximately 75% of ocean litter is derived from land based waste. Without effective waste collection, an avalanche of debris enters the ocean. Even a packet that is carelessly thrown out of a car window thousands of kilometres inland, could eventually find its way to the ocean,” said Steyn.

Although extensive education and communication campaigns have been taking place over the past few years, volunteers agreed that they were shocked to see how much litter is still found on our country’s beaches.

Packaging continues to be a major culprit and items such as straws, sweet wrappers, chips packets, earbuds and cigarette butts were found strewn across our coastlines.

“We need to address the importance of an effective waste management system upstream and increase our efforts to educate the public about the importance of recycling. Plastics are not the problem. People not discarding their used plastics products properly or ensuring they get recycled, is the issue that needs to be addressed,” Steyn advocated.

“Our sincere thanks to everyone who was involved in this year’s activities and helped to make a difference in their environment. Without the support of our many sponsors and the help of every volunteer, we would not have been able to collect the large amount of litter that we did,” Steyn concluded.

  • The next beach clean-ups planned for Saturday, September 30th are:

. King’s Beach 09:30 to 10:30. Bags/gloves provided. Contact Tim 082 775 8816.

. Sardinia Bay from 08:00. Bags/gloves provided. Contact Kelly 084 982 0285.

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