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This past weekend saw the Plastics|SA commemorating their tenth year of involvement in the annual Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Race that took place in Cape Town on the 5th and 6th of March 2016.
Under the guidance of Plastics|SA’s Sustainability Manager John Kieser, two teams of clean-up crews recruited from local townships near Ocean View ensured that Saturday’s Mountain Bike race was kept clean at all various water and spectator points, the start and the finish as well as the hospitality park, while they had to cover 100 km of the total 109 km distance on Sunday’s road race, as well as all the refreshment points.
According to Kieser, there was a dramatic drop in the amount of litter that was left behind along the routes by spectators and cyclists after this year’s races. “Our efforts were greatly bolstered by the City of Cape Town who ensured a thorough pre-event clean-up of the main route and the sides of the roads by making use of an incredible collection of various technology driven machinery. It was, however, clear that the riders, sponsors and spectators were more observant than in the past not to litter,” he said.
Learning from previous years’ experience, the Plastics|SA team knew that they had to focus much of their attention on the litter hotspots located at the uphill sections along the route, namely Smitswinkel, Chapman’s Peak and Suikerbossie. However, the use of designated “chuck zones” and friendly rivalry between members of the clean-up teams to see who could collect the most litter, made light work of the day’s efforts.
“This year’s clean-up crews included a fireman, a floor manager at a local hypermarket and a police woman. Their dedication to the job at hand and work ethic made a big difference and definitely rubbed off on the rest of the team members,” Kieser said.
Six truckloads of litter were collected using PETCO’s red bins and transported away for sorting and recycling. The main culprits continue to be plastic energy sachets and decals that were handed out by one of the sponsors. “The sachets are always a burden as they stick to the road and are easily blown into the bushes. We now also have to contend with the baboons in the Cape Point area who have taken a liking to their sweet contents,” Kieser explained.
The Plastics|SA team will again be in action later this month when the Two Oceans Marathon takes place. “We are excited about being involved in these big sporting events as we see it as an ideal opportunity to educate the public and the athletes about the importance of recycling their plastic, and being able to demonstrate practically our commitment to ensuring that plastic litter does not end up in nature or our environment. They keep on inviting us back, which means that the organisers see a benefit in the work that we do!” Kieser concluded.