This World Oceans Day (Saturday June 8) the South African National Bottled Water Association is applauding the launch of the KZN Marine Waste Network – South Coast, which focuses on the Amanzimtoti and Umbogintwini River Catchment area.
The initiative was launched during the clean-up Toti Lagoon on World Oceans Day, a Plastics SA collaboration with the Clean Surf Project (CSP), the Shoprite Group, Toti Beach Management and Sapphire Coast Tourism. Plastics SA, together with industry partners PETCO, POLYCO, SAVA, the Polystyrene Association, Sasol and Verigreen provided plastic refuse bags and gloves.
According to KZN Marine Waste Network – South Coast Chairman, Denzil van der Westhuizen, the network will focus on waste management and recycling, education and awareness programmes, litter booms and clean-up campaigns in these areas.
“Education and behaviour change is critical, given the amount of marine litter plaguing the world’s oceans. The establishment of the KZN Marine Waste Network – South Coast initiative and its focus on education and awareness programmes is to be applauded,” said South African National Bottled Water Association Executive Director, Charlotte Metcalf.
Metcalf pointed to http://marinelitter.no article dispelling the numerous myths and urban legends about marine litter. This lists several ways people living near coastlines – as well as holidaymakers – can all play their part in tackling marine litter
- that it doesn’t end up in the ocean.
- Reduce your use of unnecessary single-use plastics by choosing reusable items, carry a shopping bag, use a reusable coffee cup and purchase less food wrapped in unnecessary plastics.
- Sort and recycle your plastics – recycled plastic means less plastic being produced and entering the environment. It seems obvious, but we could do a better job of it.
- Take on and/or support direct action – participate in local recycling programmes or beach cleanups. Support international campaigns that help remove plastic directly from the environment and prevent it from becoming marine litter.
“A very good example of an initiative to look out for is Plastics|SA’s project to collect ‘lolly’ or ‘sucker’ sticks from beaches with the help of Seadog Sport, DPI Plastics and participating consumers. Building on the success of its Fishing Line Bin project which encouraged anglers to properly discard their fishing line instead of leaving it on the beach where it could entangle birds and sea life, close to 400 ‘lolly bins’ made from PVC pipe off-cuts that were again donated by DPI Plastics have been installed at selected Blue Flag beaches as well as other coastal areas throughout South Africa.
“All SANBWA’s members are required to support post-consumer recycling initiatives near them and to design for recycling. Look for its logo on the bottled water you buy – this is a guarantee that the water not only comes from a sustainable source, the bottle can and will be recycled when disposing of it in the appropriate manner,” said Metcalf.