#WorldOceansDay: Sweet wrappers top beach litter list
Volunteers picked up 211kg of rubbish within two hours last weekend at Muizenberg beach, partnering with the Beach Co-op and the Western Province Bodyboarding Association.
The initiative hopes to inspire recycling behaviour to avoid unnecessary plastic pollution entering the environment, which often lands up in the ocean for years unless it washes up on a beach.
The volunteers are equipped to track the rubbish they collect and it quickly becomes evident to volunteers how small behavioural changes can minimise a significant amount of rubbish in the environment.
The top waste found at the last clean-up was sweet wrappers (1563), cooldrink lids (1191) and lollipop sticks (731).
Pick n Pay’s general manager for sustainability Andre Nel said: “Most of the rubbish collected could have been disposed of correctly and/or recycled.
“We launched our PnP paper inner earbuds, which is now our best-selling earbud pack.
“All plastic straws have been replaced by paper straws at our kiosks. We also successfully trialled affordable R5 re-usable bags and netted fruit and vegetable bags which will be rolled out at most stores later this year,” said Nel.
Pick n Pay announced its plastic waste reduction initiatives last year when it introduced the alternatives for single-use plastic items for customers.
It also switched to the new blue 100% recycled and recyclable plastic bags which will keep 2000 tons of plastic out of the environment every year. This equates to 400 garbage trucks.
“Consumers are increasingly becoming more educated about the harm plastic can do to our environment. But if we want a meaningful shift we need to reinforce a message of ‘reduce, re-use and recycle’. Much of the litter that feeds into our oceans could have been recycled, re-used or repurposed,” Nel said.
The next Pick n Pay beach clean-up will take place tomorrow for World Oceans Day at Lookout beach in Plettenberg Bay, along with Sustainable Seas Trust and Nature Valley.
* For more information on the clean-up visit www.facebook.com/PnPPeoplenPlanet/