Robben Island gets a major clean-up
Cape Town – Plastic, paper bags and shards of glass made up the bulk of waste collected during a Robben Island coastal clean-up yesterday.
More than 150 volunteers rolled up their sleeves and helped rid the island of washed-up waste in an initiative spear-headed by the Robben Island Museum and Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB).
Senior manager for heritage and research at the museum, Thabo Seshoka, said the purpose of the initiative was to clean up the plastic that had washed up from Cape Town’s mainland.
“As Robben Island, we are a World Heritage Site and the clean-up comes at a crucial time for the Robben Island Museum, as we celebrated our firstyear anniversary of being declared a Marine Protected Area.
“The purpose of cleaning our coastline is to ensure the space exists for the common good of humanity and future generations to be able to enjoy it and learn from it,” Seshoka said.
CCPB spokesperson Priscilla Urquhart said the initiative was part of their commitment to responsible citizenship, including the conservation of natural resources and protection of the soil, water and climate required to sustain life on Earth.
Seabird Rehabilitation Centre researcher Albert Snyman said plastic pollution was detrimental to seabirds.
“We do a lot of rehabilitation of injured and abandoned seabirds; we see the effects of the plastic in the natural environment on a daily basis.
“Don’t buy a normal plastic shopping bag; just use the reusable one and be more conscious of what products you purchase to minimise the use of single plastic products.
“Plastics are wonderful but not all plastics are great; people just use them once and they throw them away and they end up finding their way to the environment,” Snyman said.