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Riding the wave to better recycling habits

Home Business Management Cleaning & Shutdown Riding the wave to better recycling habits

RIVER quality on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast and the adjoining communities could be the big winners following the launch of project just launched in Amanzimtoti.

The pilot project, at the Amanzimtoti Taxi Rank, aims to inspire positive recycling habits and to end plastic waste in the surrounding environment. The intention is to use this pilot project as a basis for fuelling similar projects across South Africa.

This project forms part of Inkwazi Isu, under the greater KZN Marine Waste Network South Coast Project, which is focused on implementing solutions to address plastic waste in the areas between the Amanzimtoti and Umbogintwini Rivers.

The upliftment of the taxi rank and surrounds, which borders the canal that leads into the Amanzimtoti River, is being managed by a team of ocean lovers from the local non-profit organisation, Clean Surf Project, and sponsored by Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation NPC (Polyco).

“Clean Surf Project has engaged in numerous beach cleanups as well as educational programs since April 2017. The need to find solutions is dire in order to minimize plastic pollution in the environment and to safeguard the invaluable ecosystems that surround us,” said project founder, Denzil van der Westhuizen.

He said they had identified the highly polluted area and with the support of fellow project member, Romy Wenzel from Sapphire Coast Tourism, they had been working with Polyco to revive the Amanzimtoti CBD and enhance and support the local tourism industry.

The aim is to instil a sense of pride in the area by painting powerful imagery of nature on the walls of the taxi rank and working with the taxi industry and informal traders in the area to educate consumers about disposing of litter and recyclables responsibly and ultimately to reduce marine pollution.

“This is a relatively small, focussed project, but one that can have a large impact. This project combines the provision of anti-litter and recycling bins infrastructure with the sharing of educational messages about recycling and anti-littering through the employment of dedicated waste educators and clear signage,” said Lisl Liedemann, Polyco’s lead on this project.

“It also includes the provision of a strategically placed litter boom in the Amanzimtoti River to prevent pollution from landing up in the sea, as well as uplifting the area with beautiful local artwork.  We would like to prove that this model can work and then implement it in other areas within South Africa, which will take us closer to fulfilling our objective of ending plastic waste in the environment.”

Wenzel  said, “Not only does this initiative assst with much-needed job creation, it also supports local businesses within the greater project area of Inkwazi Isu by employing the services of a local manufacturer, artist and videographer, as well as working with the local waste collection company, SW Collectors, to give used packaging new life”.

Polyco CEO, Mandy Naudé said the aim was to prove that the model works as a successful case study and will then look to replicate the model with other passionate NGO’s across South Africa.

“The goal is to encourage improved recycling and anti-litter behaviour in the Amanzimtoti area. Then to transform these actions into daily habits for everyone, so that together, we can stop waste going into the river, which currently ends up in the Amanzimtoti Lagoon, and ultimately gets washed out to sea and then scattered along the coastline. This pilot model could and should be adapted nationwide,” Naudé said.

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