The 30th International Coastal Clean-Up Day will once again form the highlight of this year’s Clean-Up & Recycle Week (14-19 September 2015). As the local co-ordinator of the world’s biggest volunteer effort for ocean health and a signatory of the Global Declaration for Solutions on Marine Litter, Plastics SA is expecting thousands of South Africans to flock to beaches, dams and water sources around South Africa between 09:00 and 12:00 on Saturday, 19 September 2015.‘Each year, thousands of kilograms of almost every imaginable type of waste are removed along the world’s shorelines, and South Africa is recognized as one of the leading participants in this clean-up initiative,’ said Douw Steyn, director: Sustainability at Plastics SA and chairman of the National Recycling Forum (NRF). The first International Coastal Clean-Up was held in 1996, as an initiative of the plastics industry and KZN Wildlife, to remove the most visible plastics litter from the coastal area. Since then, it has become an annual, countrywide event which is supported by the glass, cans, paper and board industries, as well as oil converters, recyclers, brand owners, retailers, Brand SA, KZN Wildlife, Tuffy Manufacturing, Pick n Pay, Garbie (East Rand Plastics) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).‘All packaging streams, as well as oil and e-waste recyclers, will use Clean-Up & Recycle Week SA to spread the message about the importance of looking after the environment and ensuring that everybody takes responsibility for recycling where they work, live or play,’ Steyn said.In Cape Town, major clean-ups will be taking place at the Woodbridge Island and in KZN at the Beachwood Mangroves from 09:00 – 12:00 on Saturday, 19 September 2015. Elsewhere, beach and river clean-ups are being planned by local communities, schools and businesses around the country (visit www.cleanup-sa.co.za for more information), which will be supported by Plastics SA and its partners in this project with the sponsorship of 250 000 bright yellow refuse bags which will be donated for clean-up projects.‘We are encouraging people to give two hours of their time on that Saturday to help clean our country’s water sources and beaches. Mother Nature supplies us with the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. If our environment isn’t clean and healthy, neither are we. We therefore, urge all South Africans to clean up the environment in order to give future generations hope for a sustainable future. ‘The local plastics industry has set itself a vision of sending Zero Plastics to Landfill by the year 2030. We need everybody’s help in reaching this target,’ concluded Steyn.
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