Lock-down Litter Monitoring

Internationally renowned ornithologist and plastic litter researcher Professor Peter Ryan from the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town initiated a litter monitoring programme in Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth during South Africa’s COVID-19 lock-down. Partnering with Peter Ryan, SST is covering the litter monitoring in Port Elizabeth.

At each level of South Africa’s lock-down, the teams in the three cities will conduct a 10-day survey along various streets. The results will determine how much waste is being littered daily in the streets of these major coastal cities. These surveys will also help determine how the lock-down levels and restrictions impact littering.

Below are SST’s lock-down level 4 results for Baywest Boulevard in Port Elizbeth. Keep in mind that this is the amount of rubbish that was littered in only 10 days:

Top 6 litter items:

1. Cigarette butts – 111

2. Plastic fragments – 43

3. Till slips – 35

4. Smoking-related litter (cigarette packets, film etc) – 31

5. Food & drink wrappers – 26

6. Individually wrapped sweets – 22

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