A whopping 664 kg of waste was collected in 2 hours by Green Corridors, and sponsors SAFRIPOL in a major beach clean-up on International Coastal Clean Up Day on Saturday 18 September.

The International Coastal Clean-up is a global initiative that encourages people to remove trash and debris from the world's beaches and waterways, and identify the sources of debris, in order to drive change in the behaviours that cause pollution.

Co-ordinated by Siphiwe Rakgabale, Green Corridors, Clean-ups and Litter booms coordinator, with SAFRIPOL and their partners PETCO, Plastics SA, Cleansing and Solid Waste from the eThekwini Municipality, and Department of Health, the clean-up saw 75 people collect 145 bags of waste, and 2 bulk bags of PET with some fascinating insights into what is finding its way into our waterways, and ultimately the ocean.

High in the list of waste collected were plastic beverage bottles with 1530 items, take out foam containers 924, beverage cans, 609, plastic bottle caps 601, cigarette butts 402, straws/stirrers 372, cigarette tips 198, diapers 192, masks 58 amongst many other items such as slops, shoes, and even a broom.

“Our mandate as Green Corridors is to co-create open green spaces within the City for people in communities to live, work and thrive, so cleaning up the south side of the Umgeni around Blue Lagoon again demonstrated just how beautiful this space is, and how the waste really detracts from this when it washes down from upstream,” says Rakgabale. “With less waste in these green spaces, local communities would be able to use it more for leisure and tourism opportunities.”

“This international day, not only helps clean up spaces, but provides us with details of what is really polluting the waterways,” explains Avashnee Chetty, Sustainability Manager SAFRIPOL. “From our perspective, it helps us to drive education around the responsible use of plastic, and its reuse, and disposal.”

On the same day, Adopt-A-River co-ordinated a clean-up on the north side of the Umgeni River mouth in the Beachwood Mangroves together with a number key partners  Plastics SA, Ezemvelo North Durban Honorary Rangers, Wessa and Umgeni Conservancy and a host of other sponsors and partners. They report that between 165 people they collected 1.2 tonnes of waste, including 40 kgs of flipflops.

“We were thrilled to bring so many partners together in an effort to create more awareness of the need to manage waste and to be part of this global study,” says Janet Simpkins, Director of Adopt-a-River.

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