Some 120 learners from Protea Park in Atlantis and Sophakama Primary School in Dunoon, Milnerton cleaned up Milnerton Beach, filling 60 bags totally 240 kg, with debris and litter during the past weekend. This initiave formed part of National Marine Week which was launched on October 11 at Swartkops estuary, Tiger Bay in Port Elizabeth.

The beach clean-up project forms part of the City of Cape Town’s WasteWise programme aimed at educating learners about the effects of litter on the environment. The city’s campaign ties up with Peninsula Beverage Company’s (PenBev) ‘Live for a Difference’ campaign; the Coca-Cola Company is committed to recovering and recycling its beverage packaging post-consumer consumption which is in line with the cradle to grave ideal for recycling.

Sammy Mohlaoli, Senior Manager Community Affairs at Coca-Cola South Africa, said, “It is important for us at Coca-Cola, together with PenBev, to inculcate a culture of caring for the environment at an early age, that is why we as a team work very closely with the City of Cape Town, who through their WasteWise programme, specifically target the learners about looking after their environment. Together with the Coca-Cola system globally, PenBev has committed to collect the equivalent of 50% of the bottles and cans that are sold globally by 2015.”

National Marine Week is in its 24th year. The focus highlights the importance of our fragile oceans’ ecosystems, and celebrates our beautiful seascapes.

Rodney Leak from the WasteWise team indicated, “Approximately 90% of the waste that gets collected on beaches does not come from the sea, but from the land; it is important that we show learners that canals and rivers are not the right places to dispose of waste and litter; it ultimately ends up on the beaches. We can definitely see a reduction in the waste that is being collected at each of the clean-ups that are organised since we started with our WasteWise programme; however there needs to be continual reinforcement of the ‘no-littering’ message.”

Learners from across the Peninsula have been actively involved in cleaning up beaches in Cape Town since 2004. WasteWise is a public education and awareness programme of the Solid Waste Management Department of the City of Cape Town.