22 September 2014

Our biggest-ever beach clean-up was a great success

Katja Rockstroh

This past Saturday, 20 September, was International Coastal Clean-Up Day. And what a success it was!

We organised our clean-up with Thrive this year and must really thank them for rallying Hout Bay residents and getting people to come out in force. We estimate that we had close to 800 people join us on the day, a definite record in our books.

Silver the Shark and Samantha the Penguin were ready to welcome volunteers. All photos by Katja Rockstroh
The queue grew quickly, with a few larger groups making the beach fill up with bright yellow bags in no time

As always, it was great to see people from all walks of life and of all ages come out and volunteer their time.

Two ladies from the Expanded Public Works Programme, as part of the Department of Environmental Affairs, with a very full bag of litter
A beach clean-up is a great family outing
25 1st Plumstead Cubs also joined us on Saturday
Two Oceans Aquarium staff Anneli Gerber, and Alichia Nortje with her daughters

The litter collected on the day was varied, as it always is, but the regular culprits always make an appearance. Some of the litter collectors were making a note of what they were collecting on a standardised data sheet and it seems that bottle caps, cigarette butts, plastic bottles, food wrappers, straws, plastic bags as well as micro plastic (minute plastic pellets) are the main problem on Hout Bay beach, yet could easily be prevented.

An inside view of contents of one of the bags

Luckily, everything collected was sorted by two ladies from Hout Bay Recycling, who left with a nice big bag of plastic recyclables and even metal.

The bags started heaping up, much to the delight of YB Green Team committee member Frans-Louis Nel. Our final count was 290 bags! This was a combination of the beach clean-up, as well as a harbour clean-up that took place at the same time.

These 290 bags will go towards the #25000BagCampaign which our YB Green Team aims to achieve by September 2015.

The whole day was a massive success, and a big thank-you goes to Thrive for joining forces with us this year and creating a very successful clean-up. Thank you to the YB Green Team also, for helping us on the day with logistics.

International Coastal Clean-Up Day is a great example of a worldwide initiative to bring people together to do something good for the planet. Just remember, the environment needs more from us than just one day per year. Treat every day like it is Coastal Clean-Up Day!

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