We’re launching the brand new Two Oceans Aquarium Trash Bash on 21 March 2018 (Human Rights Day) – the first of our new regular beach cleanup events that we’ll be hosting throughout the year.

For the past eight years the Aquarium has observed – and loved taking part in – the annual International Coastal Cleanup day in September, but this year we’ve decided that we want to do more … And we want YOU to join us.

A shot of our International Coastal Cleanup event at Milnerton in 2017

Apart from being good for the environment, beach cleanups are also good for us humans. Anyone who’s spent a morning with us on a beach to pick up plastic pollution knows that it’s actually a chance to have a ball, to spend time with friends and family, to breathe in some fresh air and feel the sand between our toes, and to leave a slightly better, slightly more informed person.

Cleaning up Sea Point in December 2017

What better way to give back than having fun while doing it?

“Cleaning up isn’t just good for the environment, it is also good for those taking part. It leaves participants feeling that they are making a difference, playing their part and being responsible for something as fragile, yet incredibly important as the ocean. The outcome of these cleanups is often much bigger than just a cleaner beach, as it changes people’s view of their role within the environment and instils a sense of responsibility towards their surrounds. Cleanups also get us outdoors and to appreciate the beauty of our surrounds.” – Two Oceans Aquarium Communications & Sustainability Manager Helen Lockhart

Apart from the obvious perks of doing a beach cleanup, the Trash Bash will also be contributing to important scientific research by following the Dirty Dozen data collection method. With this method, attendees work together in groups and record everything collected, paying specific attention to 12 pre-selected items including plastic shopping bags, earbud sticks, and sweet wrappers. At the end of each cleanup, the data will be collated and will contribute to research into the tracking of different sources of marine litter. We are receiving support and assistance from the amazing Beach Co-op, a non-profit organisation driving change in single-use plastic through integrated surveys and research-ready beach cleanups. It’s great to have this wonderful organisation on board!

On the day we will also be giving out some cool spot prizes, including five pairs of transparent glass straws, two pairs of ocean-themed glass straws and two pairs of glass swizzle sticks, all sponsored by Skunk Glass. Skunk Glass was founded in 2016 by Tami Hayden. Growing up with her parents running a decorative glass business, Hayden Craft, from home, she has been exposed to glass almost her whole life. This is where her passion for glass was ignited. She soon realised that her glass work could make a real difference in the world of plastic pollution. Having always felt helpless in the fight against single-use plastic, she now sees the possibilities and influence that her work could have on it! 

Please join us on the first public holiday of the year (woohoo!) for the first Trash Bash … ever.

Trash Bash details

  • Date: Wednesday 21 March 2018 (a public holiday)
  • Time: 9am till 11am
  • Location: Sunset Beach, Blouberg
  • What to bring: Sunblock, a hat, water (in a reusable bottle), and reusable gloves (like the ones you’d use for gardening or doing dishes)

Plastic pollution: one of the biggest threats facing the ocean today

Our oceans are facing a human-made plastic catastrophe. With estimates being that by 2050 there will be more plastic, by weight, than fish in the ocean, the time is now to make a difference and clean up our acts. Studies have shown that millions of seabirds have ingested plastic and a staggering number of sea animals die each year from plastic ingestion. Plastic has truly permeated into the deepest recesses of our natural world and has even entered our food chain.

Plastic doesn’t break down; it doesn’t degrade and become part of the natural system again. In fact, plastic breaks up. It breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes small enough, not only for small fish to mistake it for food, but research has found that even plankton is now mistaking this “forever material” for food and consuming it, introducing it into the food chain at the lowest level.

Making connections, changing lives

The question now is: What can we do to stop this pollution of our oceans? Considering that 80% of plastic found in the oceans originates on land, the answer is actually quite simple - we can intervene in the cycle of pollution entering the oceans via land, by removing it from the beaches and preventing it from entering the water in the first place.

In the past, the Two Oceans Aquarium has always supported International Coastal Cleanup Day in September each year. Trash Bash is a new campaign by the Two Oceans Aquarium and will see us hosting quarterly beach cleanups, hoping to grow attendance of these cleanups, and to entrench them as part of Cape Town’s culture. The following dates have been set for Trash Bash 2018:

  • 21 March – 9am to 11am (Public holiday)
  • 9 June – time to be confirmed
  • 15 September – time to be confirmed
  • 8 December – time to be confirmed
A shot of our International Coastal Cleanup event at Melkbosstrand in 2015

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