SST has a goal: to roll out a waste-management plan to other cities over the rest of the continent. It’s a bold goal, but it is core to an even larger one: to roll out a waste-management plan to other city over the rest of the continent. This will be part of our goal to ensure there are zero plastics from our continent going into the sea by 2035.
However, the best place to start is always at home. Port Elizabeth is Sustainable Seas Trust’s home, and there are many reasons this area makes the perfect proof of concept: it has industry, in particular two harbours; it has the full range of complex South African society, from affluent to impoverished communities; it has numerous schools and a university with a prestigious ocean sciences campus; plus the Swartkops river, a catchment area that is 133 kms long and not too wide so as to be unmanageable. Should SST be able to prove that there is a way to manage waste in this city and prevent it from reaching the sea, we can use this as a starting point for other cities on our continent.
Our first step is to get our city council on board, and so we approached Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism to help us achieve this. Our CEO Dr Tony Ribbink presented to the board on 15 August. We are now waiting for a response. Watch this space.