International Coastal Clean Up Day 17 September 2016

September 17, 2016 Brenda du Toit

Gansbaai

Every year the world unites in a coastal clean-up initiative. Data collected from this day feeds into a national and international database with Ocean Conservancy who started this global action.

This year in Gansbaai, a few groups united to work three different areas: the Uilenskraal estuary bridge, Gansbaai caravan park area in the harbour, and Stanford Cove. Dyer Island Conservation Trust with the Masakhane DEEP group, the International Marine Volunteers, Overstrand Municipality and Gansbaai Tourism together collected 22 bags of trash totalling 115.9kgs. The primary items we collected were glass and plastic. With an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, that comes as no surprise. Hundreds of thousands of marine creatures die every year from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found. At least two thirds of the world’s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion.

What can you do: Stop using single use plastic TODAY. Ninety percent of the plastic items in our daily lives are used once: grocery bags, plastic wrap, disposable cutlery, straws, coffee-cup lids. Take note of how often you rely on these products and replace them with reusable versions. Make a pledge to actively try to take your own bags to the shop when you set out on your next shopping adventure. Your small act will make a difference.