Submission Date : 2020-02-06
Cape Town, 28 January 2020. Alison Bryant of the Keep Plett Clean Campaign is the winner of the Caroline Reid Award for the Cleanup Champion of 2019 - a new, annual awardestablished by Plastics|SAto recognise and reward excellence in South Africa by an individual in the field of marine and coastal clean-ups.
Making the announcement during a gala dinner to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Marine & Coastal Educators Network (MCEN) held at the Zeekoevlei Yacht Club in Cape Town last week, Douw Steyn and John Kieser of Plastics SA awarded Alison with a R10 000 cash prize and a floating trophy.
Caroline Reid was a passionate ocean conservation warrior from KwaZulu-Natal who tragically passed away at the age of 42 after she was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident in 2018. She was a dynamic cleanup champion who coordinated hundreds of beach and diving clean-ups and who was central in the work done with the loss of the plastic pellets (nurdles) in the Durban harbour in 2017.
"Caroline was a very dear friend who worked tirelessly to increase the awareness of plastics pollution on the KwaZulu-Natal Coastline. The conservation community suffered a huge loss with her untimely death. We therefore wanted to establish this annual award to not only remember and honour this wonderful person, but also to recognize and thank similar individuals who altruistically give up their time to make our marine and coastal environment a better place by combating pollution," said Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics SA.
"This annual award to not only remembers and honours this wonderful person, but also to recognizes and thanks similar individuals who altruistically give up their time to make our marine and coastal environment a better place by combating pollution"
Plastics SA Sustainability Manager and South African coordinator of the annual International Coastal Clean-Up, John Kieser, said that this year's inaugural competition drew entries from around the country.
"We were very impressed with the quality and quantity of nominations that were submitted for this award. The judges had a tough time selecting a winner from the 14 finalists who all proved their passion and commitment for our environment and were making a tangible difference through removing litter from our oceans and waterways," he said.
Alison Bryant is the driving force behind Keep Plett Clean Campaign - a community initiative that was started in February 2014 with the aim of keeping Plettenberg Bay spotless and a premier holiday destination. With the help of a group of 30 volunteers and a few permanent staff members, Alison ventures out with bibs and pickers every week to make sure every bit of waste is picked up and removed from the town's beaches and streets.
Accepting her award, Alison thanked Plastics SA for launching the initiative and stressed the importance of ongoing education to teach the public and school children how they can help keep the environment beautiful and clean.
The prize money awarded to the Keep Plett Clean campaign will be used to assist with paying for the transport of staff members and volunteers who need to reach outlying areas of the town in order to do clean-ups
"I would like to pay special tribute to eco-warrior Caroline Reid who embodied everything that we are striving for in our efforts. This award shows that if we all do our bit and care for our communities, together we can really push South Africa forward and help our country go from strength to strength," Alison concluded.