South Africans celebrated another successful Clean-Up and Recycle Week (12-17 September 2022) as thousands of kilogrammes of waste were removed from our natural spaces this week.
According to Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics SA, literally hundreds of clean-up events took place around South Africa in an effort to keep our environment clean, with many more initiatives continuing to take place over the coming weeks.
“Clean-Up and Recycle Week 2022 was action-packed, and it was wonderful to see the large number of volunteers signing up for clean-ups at beaches, rivers, and streams and in communities around the country. Our sincere gratitude goes out to all the coordinators who worked tirelessly to ensure that everything ran smoothly on the day; the many sponsors who contributed either financially or with products to this year’s clean-up efforts, and every South African who freely and willingly gave of their time and energy to make a difference, by removing visible litter from the environment,” he said.
Highlights of this year’s Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week included River Clean-Up Day, which took place on Wednesday, 14 September, National Recycling Day which took place on Friday, 16 September, and the International Coastal Clean-Up and World Clean-up Days both falling on Saturday, 17 September. These incredible days united over 180 countries across the world for a cleaner planet as volunteers and organisations took to cleaning every space imaginable – including divers who went deep-sea litter hunting!
Douw especially thanked Plastics SA’s Sustainability Manager, John Kieser, who has been the Cape Provinces coordinator and one of the founder members of the South African International Coastal Clean-Up for the past 27 years.
Plastics SA’s work is not finished yet, as the completed audit sheets now need to be compiled, processed and analysed to produce a final report about South Africa’s participation in this year’s events, as well as a snapshot of the waste found on our beaches and waterways.
“We want to encourage communities to continue with their efforts to keep their communities clean. Every South African can make a difference every day by picking up litter and ensuring that they recycle. Small, consistent efforts make a huge difference if everybody does it. Together we can turn the tide on litter in our country!” Douw concludes.