In observation of World Ocean’s Day, the Plettenberg Bay community banded together to clear local shorebird breeding areas of plastic, reports
Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT) director Mark Brown said that in one hour, residents managed to pick up an astounding 666 cigarette butts, 329 food wrappers, 190 bottle caps, 91 straws, 112 glass bottles and pieces, and more than a thousand plastic bags and plastic pieces.
World Ocean’s Day is a global initiative which is observed on June 8 every year. This year’s theme was “Demonstrating leadership in preventing plastic pollution and sharing solutions that inspire and activate the global community”.
As part of these commemorations, the NVT and other organisations also started the Plett Ocean’s Day Challenge through which businesses made an effort to eliminate plastic and other harmful products.
So far 54 businesses have signed pledges and of these, 53 have eliminated the use of plastic straws, 51 have done away with polystyrene food containers, and 53 no longer supply individually wrapped after-dinner sweets.
On Saturday, the community also did a cleanup along Lookout Beach, which is a popular breeding area for shorebirds in the summer months.
“It was very evident how the birds, especially gulls, use plastics for nesting materials and also mistakenly feed themselves foods which are scavenged and are often still within a thin plastic bag. We found regurgitated pellets, which had pieces of plastic in them, as well as whole regurgitated plastic bags,” Brown said.