Plastics|SA and sponsors partnered with Let’s Do It! Africa and Ocean Conservancy by coordinating South Africa’s involvement in this year’s clean-up, and provided resources in the form of 300 000 specially printed yellow refuse bags, latex gloves and ground support to make this one of the biggest events ever to take place in South Africa as part of the annual Clean-up and Recycle SA Week.

According to John Kieser, Sustainability Manager at Plastics|SA and coordinator of the beach clean-ups that took place in KwaZulu Natal, Southern, Eastern and Northern Cape, the annual event has grown tremendously since the first time South Africa took part in the International Coastal Clean-Up Day 22 years ago.

More than 110 official clean-up events took place around South Africa’s coastline that stretches for more than 2 500km along two oceans, although many more unregistered, community driven spontaneous events took place throughout the week and on the day

In order to get a detailed snapshot of the biggest pollutants on the country’s beaches, the Plastics|SA team will again be spending the next month analysing the data sheets that were filled in by volunteers at the audited clean-ups. 

Despite extensive education and awareness campaigns that have taken place in South Africa over the past few years, Kieser remarked that the volunteers were all shocked to see the amount of litter strewn on beaches and between rocks. The most prevalent items collected each year are earbud and sucker sticks, straws, sweet wrappers and cigarette butts.

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