DURBAN - INTERNATIONAL Coastal Clean-up Day (ICCD) has been observed annually, on the third Saturday of September, by various countries around the globe, since 1986.
The SA Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment said this followed concern about the amount of litter on the world’s coastlines.
Conservationists and environmentalists mobilised communities to clean up beaches. The department said the ICCD initiative remained the largest global volunteer environmental data-gathering effort and clean-up event of coastal areas to date.
There were some remarkable statistics from the recent SA Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) uShaka Beach clean-up in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Armed with a permit from the eThekwini Municipality, 20 SAAMBR staff ventured on to uShaka Beach in typical windy September weather to take part in the International Coastal Clean-up. Staff trolled through the beach sands after the Coast Care team had removed the big litter items.
SAAMBR said 20 staff members who cleaned for an hour collected 289 food wrappers; 360 cigarette butts, 389 earbuds, 454 plastic bottle caps, 1 783 plastic nurdles (small plastic pellets used to create virtually anything plastic, three pairs of sunglasses, one disposable mask, one set of keys on a rope float and several hair braids.
Meanwhile, 664kg of waste was collected in two hours by Green Corridors, and sponsors Safripol during the clean-up cleaning up the south side of the Umgeni around Blue Lagoon.
High in the list of waste collected were plastic beverage bottles with 1530 items, take out foam containers 924, beverage cans, 609, plastic bottle caps 601, cigarette butts 402, straws/stirrers 372, cigarette tips 198, diapers 192, masks 58 amongst many other items such as slops, shoes, and even a broom.