On 05 December 2020, Safripol in partnership with Green Corridors and supported by Plastics SA arranged a clean-up on the Umgeni River mouth and the Blue Lagoon Beach. While braving the slight drizzle early that Saturday morning, over 100 participants including employees, families and friends #WalkedTheTalk by collecting valuable materials that were strewn along the river bank, across the beach, and in the surrounding estuary.
In the 2 hour clean-up, 135 bags of valuable recyclables including plastic, paper, glass, and tins were collected. This equated to 658 kg of waste being recovered from the environment for recycling, which otherwise would have ended up in the ocean, contributing to marine pollution. The recyclables were distributed by Green Corridors to a recycling centre in the area, while the difficult to recycle material was taken to the Green Corridors KwaMashu Materials Beneficiation Centre for processing into pavers.
According to Avashnee Chetty, Sustainability Manager at Safripol, materials such as plastics have exceptional value as a resource and should never be discarded in the environment as waste. She said at end of use, plastics should be recycled to make new products and should be kept in the materials loop, thereby supporting the circular economy, while reducing our environmental impact.
Siphiwe Rakgabale, Litter Booms and Cleanups Coordinator at Green Corridors, said the following “We truly appreciate the collaborative ways in which SAFRIPOL and PETCO are engaging with organisations such as ours to make a change through activities such as beach clean-up’s. It’s an incredible feat that 658 kg of waste was collected in 2 hours, but also a sad indictment of society’s attitude towards waste management and the environment.” He further said that going into the next decade, collaboration will be key to success if we are to make any impact on the education of our society and its change in mind-set around the use, collection and repurposing of plastic waste material, so that our environment is not adversely affected.
Anton Booysen, Operation Exceutive at Safripol highligted that education campaigns such as Safripol’s Lets Plastic Responsibly are very important in creating awareness about the value of plastics. He also thanked everyone for participating in the clean-up which he called a self-fulfilling act.