PRESS RELEASE: Volkswagen and Dyer Island Conservation Trust turn on the lights of Joburg’s first Lighthouse

December 04, 2017

To create awareness for the conservation efforts of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Volkswagen brought the ocean to Joburg and created the Dyer Island Inland Lighthouse – Joburg’s first lighthouse.

While lighthouses traditionally face out to sea, warning sailors of approaching land, Volkswagen created the Dyer Island Inland Lighthouse facing in the opposite direction to enlighten South Africans of the dangers of plastic waste to our oceans and its creatures.

The symbolic lighthouse was built using recycled plastic bottles, creating a spectacular light installation and went up in The Zone @Rosebank from 30 November until 3 December 2017. The purpose of the installation was to educate South Africans about the importance of conservation efforts focused on our fragile marine eco-system, just before Joburgers flock to the beaches for the Festive Season. Not only that, the lighthouse rewarded visitors who dropped plastic bottles or waste into the recycling bin by shining its lights brightly in gratitude.

The interactive installation also encouraged passers by to take a brave stand against plastic waste by taking a picture in the plastic-waste created Jellyfish Insta-booth and sharing these on social media as a commitment to our oceans. For those wanting to dive right in and support the cause - and take home a token - they could donate towards the trust at the craft table. Here local crafters turned trash into treasure by creating the marine icons of Dyer Island, like penguins and sharks, out of the very material putting their futures in danger. 

To spark conversation on social media, Volkswagen also asked South Africans to share their wishes for the world by using #VWWishForTheWorld. “Volkswagen’s wish for the world is to be at the forefront of creating a more sustainable future and we are humbled to work with passionate partners like the Dyer Island Conservation Trust who help us make this wish come true,” commented Meredith Kelly, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen South Africa, partners and supporters of Dyer Island and the ocean’s future.

The team from the Dyer Island Conservation Trust that attended included shark biologist Alison Towner, educator Pinkey Ngewu and Brenda du Toit. “This was an incredible opportunity to highlight our conservation work and draw attention to Gansbaai and our unique ecosystem. Marine pollution is top of mind at the moment especially with the current nurdle disaster - the plastic pellets that are washing up along the coastline after a spill in Durban. To be able to take this message inland is critical and we are grateful to Volkswagen for arranging this campaign. Over and above their considerable support to the Trust since 2011, Volkswagen donated R250 for every guest attending raising a further R15 000 and R3026 was raised by the donations towards the work of the local crafters,” added du Toit.

Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean - Ryunosuke Satoro