#ResponsibleTourism: SA gets ready for International Coastal Clean-up Day

2017-09-07 18:00 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town – South Africans will be visiting beaches in September for reasons other than to frolic in the water, swim, surf, picnic or even tan.

International Coastal Clean-Up Day takes place on 16 September and some South Africans are gearing up to band together at some of the country’s beaches, to play their part in clearing coastal litter.

Plastic is a leading cause of destruction to marine life, and dumping of this non-biodegradable product in the ocean is increasing at an alarming rate.

“Today, plastic has been found in 62% of all sea birds and in 100% of sea turtle species,” says Ocean Conservancy, encouraging people to join in the effort to eradicate plastic and other litter from coastal areas.

ALSO SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Rare beaked whale euthanised, 30 plastic bags found inside

According to Ocean Conservancy, by participating on International Coastal Clean-up Day, you can make a difference by joining millions of volunteers who love the ocean and want to protect it.

“Nearly 12 million people and counting have been part of the world’s biggest volunteer effort to protect the ocean,” says Ocean Conservancy, encouraging more volunteers to join worldwide.

Along SA shores, SANBI’s Kwelera National Botanical Garden in Eastern Cape, invites the public to join in its first annual International Coastal Clean-Up Day on Saturday, 16 September at 08:00, at Kwelera Mouth, close to the slipway.

Collection will take place from Kwelera River Mouth to Gonubie River Mouth. Participants are welcome to sign up as ‘Friends of the Garden’ and there will be a lucky draw with prizes to be won. For enquiries call o43 737 0061/71 or email kweleranbg@sanbi.org.za              

There’s also a ‘Big Clean-up’ - spanning nearly 1500 kilometres of SA’s coastline - with nodal clean-ups to be implemented from Melkbosstrand on the west coast, to Ballito on the east coast.

The inaugural ‘Big Clean-up’, with a network of participating organisations and volunteer groups, encourages the public to join in clean-up operations.

WESSA Tourism Blue Flag project

The WESSA Tourism Blue Flag project, a coastal tourism and youth development project implemented by WESSA in partnership with the National Department of Tourism and Let’s Do It! Africa, is supporting  22 registered coastal clean-up events in South Africa.

“The International Coastal Clean-up initiative has been an unwavering platform to raise awareness on marine pollution, inadequate waste management, the need for recycling and non-littering in South Africa for the past 20 years,” says Let's Do It! Africa.

“This year’s ‘Big Clean-up’ network will enable citizens to actively do something to improve the health of their local marine resources.”

Here’s where you can participate:

There’s also a Let’s Do It! civic-led mass movement, currently being introduced in Africa, to encourages the public to clean up waste along the coast and inland. So far, “113 countries and over 16 million people have joined the campaign to clean up illegal waste” says Let's Do It! Africa.

SEE: #EcoTravels: It’s time to ditch the plastic

The campaign aims to improve waste management, raise awareness about waste-related issues, increase public clean-ups and raise future “waste warriors” such as the youth working on the WESSA Tourism Blue Flag Programme.

 “An estimated 150 countries and 5% of the global population will participate in the long anticipated World Clean-up Day on 15 September 2018, making it the biggest positive civic action the world has ever seen,” adds Let's Do It! Africa.

For more information visit http://www.wessa.co.za or www.letsdoitworld.org.


People who are concerned about the environment and committed to make a difference can also join a worldwide pledge to #BeatPollution.

You can also start your own action or share your story on the website, but the main aim is to sign the pledge by visiting the “clean planet pledge” page and select those options you pledge to follow to make a difference.

The categories include Clean up the air we breathe, Avoid toxic chemicals, Safeguard our freshwater, Protect our land and soil, Clean up our oceans and Minimize waste. You can select all of these categories or choose specific sub-categories that suit your lifestyle and take baby steps towards achieving “green living”.

What to read next on Traveller24:

#EcoTravels: It’s time to ditch the plastic

#ShockWildlifeTruths: Rare beaked whale euthanised, 30 plastic bags found inside

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