Children from various schools around the Cape Peninsula demonstrated their global commitment to sustainable packaging, water stewardship and ocean conservation when they gathered to pick up litter at Strandfontein Beach on Saturday, 12 September 2009. It was part of the 24th annual International Coastal Clean Up (ICC) which takes place globally on 19 September.
This is the second beach clean up this year organised by Peninsula Beverages Co (Pty) Limited, the Bottler of Coca- Cola Products in the Western Cape. The annual international coastal clean up, organized with Ocean Conservancy, is the world’s largest single-day volunteer effort to help protect the ocean. Last year, The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) organized more than 50,000 associates in 35 countries to help clear beaches and waterways of debris, representing more than 250,000 volunteer hours.
ICC encourages people to remove trash and debris from the world’s beaches and waterways, identify the source of the debris and change the behaviours that cause pollution. Peninsula Beverages kicked off the coastal clean up on 12 September with staff and school children armed with surgical gloves, garbage bags and loads of energy. Kids from Rietenbosch, Zerilda Park, Nomsa Maphongwana, Manyano and Sophumelela Primary Schools as well as St Andrews and Du Noon High Schools together with PenBev staff rolled up their sleeves and went to work to maintain this beach’s Blue Flag status.
Over 100 bags of rubbish, an old bath and some discarded tyres were collected off the Strandfontein Beach.
Stuart McLeod, Managing Director of PenBev said: ‘Our Peninsula Beverages Clean Up Campaign is done in conjunction with the Environmental Action Group and is one of the many environmental projects that PenBev is involved in to ensure that the natural beauty of Cape Town is maintained. As one of the biggest manufacturers of soft drinks in the Western Cape, we recognise the importance of a clean and healthy environment and believe it is vital we play a pioneering role in ensuring that our community is clean in line with The Coca-Cola Company strategy of conserving our planet’s resources and investing in a cleaner world.’
Since 1986, the ICC has removed more than 50 million kg of marine litter along nearly 400 000 kms of beaches and inland waterways around the world. Each year, volunteers from around the world spend a few hours removing trash and debris from beaches, lakes, rivers and other waterways keeping track of every piece of trash they find. Ocean Conservancy uses the information to produce the world’s only annual country-by-country index of the problem of marine debris.
The report is shared with the public, industry and government officials to work together to end the problem of marine debris. TCCC packages are listed among the Top 10 debris items collected, so it is important to play an active role in this important initiative.
‘We are proud to have The Coca-Cola Company as a partner in sea change,’ said Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Ocean Conservancy. ‘Coca-Cola recognizes that the International Coastal Cleanup is just part of the solution, and seeks ways to keep litter out of the water in the first place, from improving the sustainability of their bottles and cans.’