International Coastal Cleanup Day expected to attract hundreds of thousands globally

Published Sep 15, 2017


Environmentally conscious Durbanites will join thousands across the world on Saturday (September 16) in efforts to clear rubbish from the ocean.

The operations will take place in honour of International Coastal Cleanup Day, which, according to activist organisation Ocean Conservancy, looks at “harnessing the power of people to fight ocean trash”.

“Today, plastic has been found in 62% of all sea birds and in 100% of sea turtle species.

A problem as big as plastic in the ocean requires a big response. By participating in the cleanup, you can make a difference. You’ll join millions of volunteers just like you, who love the ocean and want to protect it.”

They said that more than 12 million people had been part of the world’s "biggest volunteer effort" to protect the ocean.

Last year, more than 500 000 volunteers around the world joined the effort.

The organisation said that together they had managed to pick up more than 8.3 million kilograms of rubbish, which amounted to more than 700 African elephants.

Most commonly found were cigarette butts (1.8 million) and plastic beverage bottles (1.5 million).

Strange items such as a toilet, stereo set and even a piano were also recovered.

KZN co-ordinator of the cleanup effort Caroline Reid told The Mercury that there were operations set up in uMhlanga, Blue Lagoon, KwaMashu, Hammarsdale, the Mangroves, Ushaka Marine World, eManzimtoti, Hibberdene, Margate and Port Shepstone.

There was a major cleanup – involving the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Wildlands Conservation Trust and Transnet – planned for the harbour area.

“There are others as well. I will be in Sodwana. The operations start at 9am.”

She encouraged people to participate in event.

“Not only is it important to keep our beaches clean for ourselves and future generations, but the data captured also helps scientists understand plastic use trends.”

The Mercury

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