International Coastal Clean-up Day 2017
On 16 September A Rocha SA embarked on an ambitious attempt to have 4 clean-ups on a single day.
One was on the coast while the other three were done on different sections on the Kuilsriver and the Bottelary river in the northern suburbs of Cape Town.
In Kleinmond, 100Km from Cape Town, the main beach and lagoon was our target. Members of two local churches and the nature conservation society joined us on a cold and windy morning. Small groups of 2 or 3 took to the beach with their recycle bags and clip boards to record everything that was collected.
We collected 65 bags that has been taken for recycling. A very large percentage was plastics – 429 bags, 158 bottle tops and 184 bottles. A further 184 glass bottles, 249 wrappers and 202 cigarette butts.
Along the Kuilsriver members of three churches cleared refuse from the river adjacent to the congregation. The Stellenberg church collected a whopping 400 bags of rubbish in 2 hours. The Bellville church mobilized 20 members and they filled 55 bags, while the Kuilsriver congregation collected 37 bags.
The volume of rubbish was so overwhelming that data collection became impossible. A serious contributing factor to the vast amounts of rubbish in the river and on its banks in the Stellenberg area is vagrants living there. This challenge needs to be addressed by the local authority.