The wave arches, curls over and crashes. The foamy water races up the shore, then draws back into the ocean. It leaves behind plough snails burrowing into the wet sand, seaweed strewn about, and a plastic bottle. Crunching footsteps approach the bottle, and a hand reaches down to pick it up and throw it into a yellow recycle bag. All along the beach and in the dunes, volunteers can be seen carrying these bags. It’s a heart-warming sight to see so many people coming together to clean and care for their Bay.
In celebration of World Oceans Day (8 June), Sustainable Seas Trust organised a beach clean-up in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth. There was an estimation of over 300 volunteers who participated in the event. Whilst it’s sad that beach clean-ups are needed in the first place, the SST team were overjoyed and astounded by the community support.
“The public’s positive response to the World Oceans Day beach clean-up was absolutely overwhelming,” said Kylie Harris, SST event organiser and coordinator.
A total of 160kg of recyclable waste (two truckloads of recycle bins) and 420kg of general waste was collected on the day. “It was so wonderful to see the community and different partners coming together for a good cause and I hope that it won’t be the last,” said Harris.
The clean-up was joined by SANCCOB, WESSA, Something Good Roadhouse, Summerstrand Surf Lifesaving Club, the Department of Water and Sanitation, PnP People n Planet who gave away re-usable bags to volunteers, Coco-Cola Beverages who gave away cool drinks and Isuzu who collected all the waste, sorted through it and recycled it.