he public was invited to dump their plastic waste into Faithful’s mouth this month as part of the Plastic-Free July campaign. Photo: David Ritchie African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Platic dumpers who pollute tons of plastic yearly can now redeem themselves by dumping their plastic in a giant fish at the Waterfront this month.

Named #AFishNamedFaithful and created from up-cycled plastic and repurposed materials, the 5m-wide and 2.5m-high wire-mesh fish-sculpture was unveiled yesterday at the Flagpole Terrace overlooking Quay 5.

Designed and created by the Langa-based non-profit organisation “Our Workshop Project”, Faithful’s construction was commissioned by online eco-lifestyle and health retailer Faith to Nature, as part of its “Plastic-Free July” campaign urging people to not use plastic.

Inviting the public to the unveiling to dump their plastic waste into Faithful’s mouth - filling its belly and highlighting how much of the public’s plastic waste ends up in the stomachs of marine life - Faith to Nature’s chief executive, Katrien Grobler, said: “Faithful is here to collect plastic, so that it does not end up in the oceans and in the stomachs of Faithful’s friends.

“Every year up to 12 million metric tons of plastic land up in our oceans. We as humans have managed to dump the equivalent of the weight of 60 000 blue whales in plastic into the ocean.”

Grobler said retailers have an enormous role to play in reducing plastic-packaging waste.

“Going plastic-free requires a paradigm shift, but it is our duty to make the process easier for shoppers and inspire more careful shopping and packaging-decisions,” she added.

Our Workshop Project manager Richard Mandongwe said that creating Faithful was a challenge, but one that he enjoyed, especially knowing he was doing it for a good cause.

“People do not pay attention to the impact of plastic on the environment, but I hope that through Faithful we are able to shed some light on where most plastic waste ends up, and what we need to do to preserve nature.”

The Our Workshop Project head and internationally acclaimed designer Heath Nash said: “We all need to start caring more about what we throw away, what we buy and what our individual responsibility is for what lands up in the sea.”

Faithful is mobile but will be based at the Waterfront until July 31, after which she will be moved to a new location.

All the waste collected is to be disposed of in the most effective and responsible way possible, the organisers said.