The first official clean-up was arranged by the Ocean Conservancy in 1986 and took place along the Texas shoreline. Since then, the effort has evolved into the International Coastal Clean-up we know today. During last year’s event alone, nearly 600 000 volunteers were mobilised to clean coastal beaches and inland waterway all over the world. South-
“Along with our partners at Ocean Conservancy and KZN Conservation Services, we try to educate people that plastics don’t litter, people do”, says John Kieser, Sustainability Manager of Plastics|SA and national coordinator for the ICC. “Plastics|
During last year’s event, 21 000 South African volunteers covered a distance of 488 km along our country’s shoreline, where they collected a staggering 44 738 kilograms of debris. Underwater clean-ups also took place with the help of 154 divers who removed 1 687 kg of debris from the ocean’s floor. Results from last year’s clean-ups show that packaging litter continues to be a problem on South Africa’s beaches.
According to Kieser, the work doesn't end after the beach clean-ups. Local coordinators collect and compile raw data from the clean-ups to paint a better picture of marine debris sources in an effort to actively address the link between human activities and debris. This comprehensive look at the human handprint of marine debris helps to educate government, scientists and the public. “It's about prevention just as much as it is about cleaning up”, Kieser explains.
INVITATION TO THE MEDIA TO JOIN US ON A BEACH CLEAN-UP
Although local communities and associations are encouraged to arrange their own clean-up drives and initiatives where they work, live or play, members of the media are invited to join Plastics|SA and partners on Saturday, 15 September between 09:00 – 12:00 at one of the following venues:
• CAPE TOWN: Sunset Beach in Table View from 09:00 – 12:00
John Kieser (CT) and Wayne Munger (KZN) will be available at these two venues for interviews along with other high profile sponsors, local schools and community groups who will provide good visuals for photographs of volunteer involvement.
For more information, please visit one of the following websites:
Contact details of coordinators:
National Coordinator and Environmental Manager: Plastics|SA
Mobile: 073 775 8561
KwaZulu Natal Coastal Clean-Up
Mobile: 082 559 2853
Aim Marketing & Communications Consultants
Tel: (071) 083-5219