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Plastic free july 2020: two oceans aquarium webinar series

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Plastic free july 2020: two oceans aquarium webinar series

Coming to a screen near you this Plastic Free July, the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation proudly present a series of free webinars exploring ocean inspiration as well as the issues and solutions involved with plastics in the environment. Join us and our special ocean ambassador guests to hear more about how your choices connect you to the ocean and what you can do to be part of the solution.

There are only 90 spaces each available for these webinars. All webinars are free to attend.

Webinar 1: Inspired to protect

Maryke Musson 1

The opening act on 2 July 2020 features Maryke Musson, CEO, and Hayley McLellan, Environmentalist, of the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation.

They will provide an inspiring look at why the oceans need our help, right now.

Hayley Mc Lellan

Maryke is deeply passionate about the ocean and about inspiring people through storytelling, film and art; and through education, conservation and research. She has worked in the marine field for more than 25 years in research, aquaculture, and aquariums. Says Maryke, “So few people get the opportunity to witness the magic that is under the surface of the ocean. How can we expect people to care about the ocean if they do not know about it? Connecting people to the ocean so that they can be inspired to protect, respect and love it is my life’s work.”

Hayley is the driving force behind the Rethink the Bag campaign which she launched in 2011. She has inspired countless South Africans through hundreds of presentations at schools, festivals, in board rooms, churches, spas, libraries, hotels and packed auditoriums, urging them to say “No” to single use plastic shopping bags, with the aim of creating a plastic shopping bag free South Africa.


Did you miss the first webinar? Catch up here.

Webinar 2: Our ocean impact

PFJ 2020 Webinar 2

Join conservationists Talitha Noble and Brett Glasby from the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, and aquarist Ayrton King from the Two Oceans Aquarium, as they tell us about their first-hand experiences working with animals that have been affected by plastic pollution. These include tiny turtle hatchlings which have ingested plastic, larger turtles such as the green sea turtle, Alvi, which had swallowed a plastic bag, seals with plastic nooses around their necks, and seabirds with plastic round their legs.

While the work can sometimes be heart-wrenching, Talitha, Brett and Ayrton are more driven than ever before to make a difference in the lives of animals and to inspire people to take action by sharing what they have learned from the animals they work with.

Ayrton talitha brett

Did you miss the first webinars? Catch up here.

Webinar 3: The Story of Plastic 

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Local heroes Aaniyah Omardien, Founder and Director of The Beach Co-op, and Jackie May, Founder and Editor of Twyg, will facilitate a discussion on the film The Story of Plastic which premiered on Earth Day this year. They will be joined by guests Hayley McLellan, Environmentalist for the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, and 15-year old Jade Bothma, Founder of Oceano Reddentes.

The Story of Plastic visits three continents and takes a look at the plastic pollution which is choking our streams, rivers and oceans, piling up on every piece of land, and pollution our skies. Interviews with activists and experts reveal the magnitude of the problem facing us and also the ground swell of individuals and organisations who are rising up to confront this challenge head on.

We advise that you watch The Story of Plastic before the webinar. To gain access to a virtual screening of The Story of Plastic, please register here:

Once you've booked your ticket, you will receive a link to stream the film by 14 July from the event host before our planned post-screening discussion at 11h00 on 16 July.

The link will be delivered to you at the email address you use to RSVP. We will reconvene at 11am on Zoom for a webinar hosted by Two Oceans Aquarium on 16 July 2020. You will receive a separate link for the webinar alongside the streaming link.

Aaniyah Omardien The Beach Co Op 2

Aaniyah founded The Beach Co-op, a non-profit, after spending hours cleaning up the rocky shore of Muizenberg Beach where she also spends time in the water surfing. Aaniyah is driven to connect people to the ocean and a means of doing this is through beach cleanups. She says, “We are bringing people together who care for our environment, the good of the people and the planet.” In 2019 The Beach Co-op hosted 59 cleanups which were attended by 3 507 people and collected and catalogued six tonnes of waste.

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Twyg is a non-profit organisation which focuses on modern eco-conscious living. Founder and Editor Jackie is committed to inspiring sustainable and ethical living, change of behaviour and circular design through stories about fashion, food and places. In 2019 she launched the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards. For this Plastic Free July Twyg co-presents the Refashion Plastic Project with the Beach Co-op and Studio Biru - you can learn more about this exciting initiative when you join us for our final webinar on 30 July 2020.


Jade Bothma, a 15-year-old resident from Capri, started beach cleanups two years ago and has hosted 20 cleanups since then. She is the founder of Oceano Reddentes. Says Jade, “‘There is a very large amount of plastic in the sea that comes from our rivers, stormwater drains and people littering on land. The earth is our home, so we need to take care of it before it is too late. I urge all residents to try and reduce their reliance on single use plastic and to try to pick up just two pieces of plastic every time they go outside”.

Webinar 3 details

Date: 16 July 2020
Time: 11h00 to 12h00 
Location: Zoom

Register here:

Webinar 4: Towards new solutions

PFJ 2020 Webinar 4

Finally we end Plastic Free July 2020 on a high note featuring some exciting innovations and solutions happening right now in Cape Town. Guests include Cameron Service, CEO of the Litterboom Project, Jackie May of Twyg, Aaniyah Omardien of The Beach Co-op, and Pavs Pillay/Lorren de Kock from WWF-SA.

The Litterboom Project (LTP) originated in KwaZulu-Natal in 2017 and aims to eradicate plastic from rivers before it ends up in the ocean (90% of plastic in the ocean comes from rivers). Since its inception the LTP has removed more than 200 000kg of waste from rivers. This year, in partnership with the Pristine Collective and the City of Cape Town, the Litterboom Project is installing litterbooms in a number of rivers across Cape Town, including the Black River, and the Big and Little Lotus Rivers. Cameron Service will tell us more about these projects and how the litterbooms work.

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Jackie May and Aaniyah Omardien will talk about the Refashion Project which involves five South African designers who created garments and accessories by upcycling plastic waste materials. The design items were shared with five high-profile people – we can’t wait to see how they enjoyed discovering and wearing these wardrobe items. “Our intention this year is to drive circular design ideas. By illustrating that waste material can be turned into “new” items, we’ve shown how materials can be kept in use beautifully. Some of our recycled plastic items have high luxury value, others fun value, they all have aesthetic appeal,” says Jackie.

We will also be joined by WWF-SA’s Lorren de Kock and Pavitray Pillay. Despite the negative press it gets, plastic is an immensely useful material. Unfortunately, it’s also one of nature’s worst pollutants. To curb the major threats to environmental and human health stemming from the ever-growing production and consumption of plastic, we need proper value chain accountability. The WWF Circular Plastics Economy programme works with stakeholders across three critical tiers, namely government, industry and consumers, to deliver catalytic impact at a meaningful scale, while strengthening existing actions of its partners through strong leadership, convening and sharing of expertise.

Webinar 4 details

Date: 30 July 2020
Time: 11h00 to 12h00 
Location: Zoom

Register here:

About Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is a global campaign to encourage individuals around the world to be part of the solution and to beat plastic pollution in the environment. Estimates are that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean, by weight, than fish. From the tiniest organism to the largest ocean behemoths, plastic poses a threat to all organisms in the ocean. Over a million seabirds are killed each year due to plastic pollution and with over 51 trillion pieces of microplastics in the sea, microscopic plankton are feeding on plastic which causes the plastic to enter the food chain… Our food chain.

At the Two Oceans Aquarium, we experience the destruction caused by plastic pollution first-hand, and we want you to help us to be part of the solution. The Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation is the registered non-profit and public benefit partner of the Two Oceans Aquarium and focuses on four main focus areas: ocean conservation, awareness, research and education.

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