Cape Town - Volunteers were hard at work to free one of South Africa's most famous landmarks - Robben Island - of its waste burden.
More than 130 volunteers, guided by the national PET Recycling Company (Petco) and Plastics SA, took part in the island's biggest waste collection drive to rid it of litter, which scientists warn is growing faster than the human population.
The event comes amid continued warnings about the litter plague, which saw the amount of litter washing up on the city's beaches increase by 300% between 1994 and 2012.
According to UCT researcher Professor Peter Ryan, an expert on beach litter along South Africa's coastline, roughly 10 times more litter washes ashore at Milnerton than at Koeberg, showing the importance of local, land-based sources of litter within the bay.
Ryan noted that the World Heritage site was plagued by visitors' litter and litter from passing ships and land-based sources that washes into Cape Town’s stormwater drains and rivers.
Petco stakeholder relations manager Janine Basson said since the majority of ocean waste was derived from land-based sources, stopping waste at the source was the most effective way to deal with the pollution.
“Keeping recyclables in the economy instead of it ending up in landfills is key,” said Basson.
Plastics SA sustainability manager John Kieser said the plastics industry body has been active in cleaning up Robben Island for the past 20 years.