Taking the spirit of #WorldOceansDay forward | Infrastructure news

Last week, in observance of #WorldOceansDay, Plastics|SA launched plans for its annual Clean-Up & Recycle Week SA – taking place from 12 to 17 of September this year.

Highlights of 2016’s upcoming activities include a national clean-up and recycle competition for schools, communities and businesses, as well as celebrating South Africa’s 20th year of being involved in the annual International Coastal Clean-Up Day.

Celebrating 20 years of coastal clean-up successes

This year South Africa will celebrate 20 years of officially participating in the annual International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC). What started on a Texas beach in 1986 by the single effort of one woman walking along a beach, has since grown into the world’s biggest volunteer effort for ocean health.  Each year, more than 700 000 volunteers in 127 countries volunteer two hours of their time on the third Saturday in September to remove litter from beaches and the marine environment.

From pilot project to nationwide initiative

South Africa’s participation is coordinated by Plastics|SA and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, who joined the global clean-up campaign in 1996. “Initially we saw this as a pilot project. The first year we managed to remove nine tons of litter from 33 km of beach in Kwa-Zulu Natal with the help of 460 people. Last year, we had more than 20 000 volunteers who supported the ICC along the entire South African coastline and offshore islands,” says Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics|SA.

“Clean-Up and Recycle SA Week, Recycling Day SA and the ICC are initiatives that clearly demonstrate the plastics, oil and packaging industries’ commitment to actively reduce the amount of litter found in our environment and water sources. Other leading packaging industry associations, including Packaging SA, The Glass Recycling Company, Paper Recycling Association of SA, Tetrapak, Collect-a-Can, The Rose Foundation, PlasticsǀSA, PETCO, POLYCO, SAVA, PSPC  and the Aerosol Manufacturing Association all actively participate in this week’s events and help to promote the message about the importance of recycling,” Steyn adds.

Plastics|SA provided more than 300 000 bags for clean-up initiatives that took place around the country during the month of September last year.

2016 Clean-Up dedicated to Mandela

This year’s Clean-Up and Recycle SA Week takes place in September, with Recycling Day SA taking place on Friday, the 16th of September 2016 and the International Coastal Clean-up Day on Saturday, the 17th of September 2016.

“In order to celebrate our 20th year of environmental success, we will be dedicating this year’s activities to the memory of Nelson Mandela. The official Launch of Clean-up and Recycle Week SA 2016 will take place on Mandela Day (18 July) and endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Brand SA, Ocean Conservancy and the Department of Environmental Affairs,” Steyn announced.


In keeping with the theme, Plastics|SA will be running a nationwide competition for schools between June and October 2016 entitled, “Play Your Part… Let’s Clean-Up South Africa!” The aim of this competition is to educate and encourage schools, communities, businesses and organisations to “play their part” in cleaning up their immediate surroundings. By initiating a clean-up and/or recycling activity, writing a short report about it and sending in the photographs and information of what they had managed to accomplish, they stand a chance to win one of the following exciting prizes:

The competition will end on the 31st of October. Entries will be judged during the first week of November and the winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Watch the press for entry forms and competition details, or visit www.plasticsinfo.co.za for more information.

Download Entry Form here

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