Mother Nature had other ideas for last month’s International Coastal Clean-Up and Clean-Up & Recycle Week! SST, in partnership with Plastics SA, had taken on the mammoth task of coordinating the planned activities and distributing collection bags, data forms and posters to over 150 clean-ups. A significant number of these clean-ups were, however, scheduled for the weekend of 16 and 17 September.
Over that weekend, there was a spring tide, coupled with unusually high swells and gale-force winds, along the coastline of South Africa. This led to a lot of clean-ups being postponed as beaches were inaccessible, conditions were too extreme, and cleaning up would have been unsafe. Sadly, the extreme weather has caused damage to infrastructure and property.
The extreme weather also resulted in decades-old trash being stirred up in the ocean and deposited back on land by the waves. It’s not too late for you to rally your friends and family, grab a couple of black bags and head to your nearest beach to help with the huge job of cleaning up the waste along our coastline before the ocean reclaims it!
Look out for updated statistics on the clean-up efforts in the next newsletter. In Gqeberha, from only five clean-ups that could take place, over 400 volunteers collected more than 300 bags of waste – along with massive ropes, lobster traps, pipes, plumbing, tyres, and parts from aquaculture. This amounts to just over 1000 kilograms of waste removed from the environment.
Thank you to the volunteers and schools associated with the Amsterdamhoek community, Aquelle, Blue Horizon Bay community, Coega Development Corporation, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), Giving Them Wings Foundation, John Dory’s, Pick n Pay Schools Club, the Seaview community, Spur, Sunrise Hotel, Ward 40 Councillor’s Office, the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) Algoa Bay, and Zwartkops Conservancy.