In response to the International Coastal Cleanup, and in true Safripol style, our staff, families and friends once again showed their support to create awareness of the ongoing pollution problem by cleaning up the waterways, beach and green spaces alongside the uMgeni River banks at the Blue Lagoon. The event was organized by Safripol in collaboration with The Green Corridor NPC and was supported by our partners from PETCO, Plastics SA, Cleansing and Solid Waste from the eThekwini Municipality, and Department of Health.
In the 2 hour clean-up, some 75 volunteers (including 1 dog) recovered 145 bags of materials, plus 2 (1 tonne) bags of PET, while burning some much needed calories!
In total 664kg of ocean bound waste was recovered from the waterways and diverted away from the ocean, to enable recovery and recycling of the valuable materials thereby contributing to the circular economy, while preserving the natural environment.
The top 5 items collected on the day was i) plastic beverage bottles, ii) polystyrene foamed take-away containers, iii) beverage cans, iv) plastic bottle caps, and v) food wrappers.
In the welcome message, Avashnee Chetty, Safripol’s Sustainability manager quoted Mahatma Ghandi, – “Be the change you want to see in the world”. She said that as active citizens, we have to take the call to action, to bring about positive change and move society forward. She said that plastics is a valuable resource which should stay out of the environment. She also reminded us that there is no PlanetB, so it is our responsibility to take care of the only one we have for the next generations to also enjoy.
Gert Claasen Safripol’s Technology and Innovation Executive, took to the stage with a show and tell demonstration and a Plastics 101 lesson. He quizzed the volunteers and educated them on the different polymer types and the Do’s and Do Not’s when separating waste at source at home.
Siphiwe Rakgabale, Litter Booms and Clean-ups Coordinator at Green Corridors was grateful to Safripol for joining hands with the Green Corridors and for the partnership, and he said that his team is looking forward to future joint events. He also thanked Safripol for sponsoring the litter boom at the uMgeni River mouth, which he says is already making a huge impact in intercepting and recovering ocean-bound waste and preventing it from entering the ocean.
Finally in closing Anton Booysen Safripol’s Operation Executive had this to say: “We all share the same environment and we all have to do our bit to protect it. What is also refreshing is the passers-by that encouraged and complemented all of us during the clean-up. This by itself is inspirational and depict our true Safripol values.”