WATCH: Durban beach buried in garbage after heavy rains

2019-03-11 15:30
Plastic waste that washed up in Durban on 11 March 2019 following heavy rain. Picture: Supplied/Hanno Langenhoven

Plastic waste that washed up in Durban on 11 March 2019 following heavy rain. Picture: Supplied/Hanno Langenhoven

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Piles of plastic bottles and other debris accumulated on a Durban beach on Monday morning following heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal.

The scene at Blue Lagoon was filmed by Hanno Langenhoven, strategic manager for recycling at the Wild Trust, who described it as an "ongoing problem" that occurs every time the Umgeni River comes down after a big inland storm.

Langenhoven said a massive hail storm in the Mooi River area, some 150km inland from the beach, had led to the deluge of debris.

Despite it being a regular problem, Langenhoven said he was still shocked when he went down to the river mouth to check, describing it as the "worst event" he'd seen.

"It a soul destroying, depressing place to be in," he said.

"I anticipate that there are at least 60 cubic metres of plastic on the beach as we speak – that's conservative," he told News24.

plastic waste

Picture: Hanno Langenhoven

Langenhoven dispatched a team of Wildlands staff to clean up the beach, a task he anticipated would take between three and five days. The NGO then plans to transport the plastic waste to a recycling plant. 

"If we didn't intercept it on the beach, that 60 cubic metres would end up in the ocean," he said.

But Langenhoven added that the problem would reoccur as soon as it rains again.

Litter booms were installed on the Umgeni River in 2017 to limit the amount of plastic waste that washes out to sea.

But due to the accumulation of debris and the heavy rainfall, the booms snapped, explains Nompilo Buthelezi from Durban Green Corridor.

Buthelezi said the booms were "very effective" when the rains were not too heavy, and that a team would repair the them as soon as the river flow slowed down.

Read more on:    durban  |  environment
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