SA Prepares to Celebrate Clean-up and Recycle SA Week
Submission Date : 2021-08-11
National Recycling Day & International Coastal Clean-Up Day
Plastics SA â€“ the umbrella body representing the entire plastics industry - is calling on South Africans to participate in the annual Clean-Up & Recycle SA week from 13-18 September 2021. This yearâ€™s week will once again culminate in National Recycling Day on Friday, 17 September 2021 and the International Coastal Clean-Up Day/Letâ€™s Do It World Clean-up Day on Saturday, 18 September 2021.
Apart from raising awareness and supporting clean-up initiatives by donating refuse bags, gloves and other equipment needed, this will also be the 25th year that Plastics SA will be coordinating South Africaâ€™s participation in the International Coastal Clean-Up Day â€“ the worldâ€™s biggest volunteer effort for ocean health.
Plastics SA is hoping that this year will see a repeat of the huge success of last yearâ€™s Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week. Despite the fact that COVID-19 restrictions prohibited the large groups at public clean-ups and gatherings that have become synonymous with this public awareness and volunteer effort, the spirit of camaraderie, positivity and willingness to make a difference in our environment, definitely made this one of the most memorable years.
"Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week has become a highlight on our countryâ€™s environmental calendar. This annual public awareness week is supported by all the packaging streams in South Africa and encourages citizens, corporates and municipalities to help remove all visible litter from our countryâ€™s neighbourhoods and streets, rivers, streams, beaches and oceans," explains Douw Steyn, Plastics SA's Sustainability Director.
"Like last year, we are one again advocating that South Africans be eco-warriors in their own neighbourhoods by picking up any litter on our beaches or strewn in streets, rivers, streams or canals. Where community clean-ups are planned, we urge the organisers to adhere to safety protocols by limiting the numbers of volunteers participating, ensuring that participants wear their masks, checking that they maintain social distancing and that enough sanitizing stations are in place," Steyn said.
Highlights of 2020 Clean-Up and Recycle Week
Highlights of the 2020 Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week included the launch of the Inkwazi Isu (Fish Eagle Project) by the KZN Marine Waste Network South Coast and the participation of Minister Barbara Creecy, Minister of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), in a beach clean-up at Dakota beach, Umbogintwini in KZN, where 697 bags were collected with a weight of over 2.4 tons.
In the Cape Provinces, several hundreds of kilometres of the countryâ€™s coastline were cleaned in more than 72 audited clean-ups, while several more non-audited, informal clean-ups took place during the week. Fifteen 4x4 clubs hosted their clean-ups, as did several diving groups who hosted underwater clean-ups. In the Cape Provinces, twenty tons of litter were removed, separated and sent for recycling on International Coastal Clean-Up Day alone!
"South Africa and the rest of the world continues to go through a very difficult period in our history as we are still trying to beat the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, riots and public disturbances. However, each year the Clean-Up & Recycle SA week manages to restore hope as South Africans of all ages and walks of life unite their efforts and volunteer their time and energy to help make South Africa a brighter, cleaner place for all!" Steyn concludes.