When having a relaxing day at the beach, it’s always saddening to see dead birds and animals trapped in old fishing line. Luckily, an innovative solution is now being launched to rid our oceans of this problem.
The Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) and one of its members, DPI Plastics, are hoping to reduce the number of marine life trapped in used and discarded fishing lines by donating plastic pipes and fittings, to be used as bins by the Dyer Island Conversation Trust in a pilot project along the Gansbaai shoreline.
“The audited results of the annual International Ocean Clean Up initiative show revealed that 1 752 pieces of fishing line was collected along our country’s coastline,” says SAPPMA CEO Jan Venter.
The Dyer Island Conservation Trust, in association with Overstrand Municipality, has established the Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Program as a best practice to manage the bins.
A top polluter
“Discarded fishing line was listed number 8 in the top 10 pollutants on our beaches and is the most problematic. Most of the smaller animals found each year are entangled in this material. Discarded fishing material such as nets, mono filament line, crayfish traps and anchor ropes are responsible for far more damage to large marine life than any other marine debris found at sea”, Venter says.
In order to offer a practical solution to this growing problem, SAPPMA and its members are supporting the Marine Pollution Declaration that was recently signed by Plastics SA, by donating plastic pipes that will be used as bins where fishermen can throw away their lines. These bins are open at the top and sealed at the bottom to prevent the fishing line from being blown away. Municipality officials are responsible for opening and removing these lines on a weekly basis.
Explains Venter: “SAPPMA is an Association of leading companies in the plastics piping business, with the purpose of facilitating high standards of ethics, product quality and technical information.
A lifetime of quality
In keeping with our slogan, “Lifetime Quality”, we can contribute to raising public awareness about the negative impacts that fishing line debris has on marine life, water quality, and human welfare. By donating these pipes, we are doing something practically to reduce the amount of fishing line entering and remaining in the marine environment”.
Venter says they are proud to be associated with this world-first initiative that relies on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, manufactured and donated by DPI Plastics. “These pipes are perfect for the job at hand as they offer outstanding resistance to corrosion and the elements”, he explains.
The first network of 21 bins have already been erected at local beaches and popular fishing spots such as Franskraal, Gansbaai, Kleinbaai, Romansbaai, Pearly beach and Kleinmond. Thanks to the donated plastic pipes, another 100 bins will now be made and rolled out to the rest of the coastline – including Betty’s Bay, Hermanus and the fishing spots at the Blue Flag Beaches to be managed by the Wildlife and Environmental Association of Southern Africa (WESSA).
A new portal for plastics info
Plastics|SA, the umbrella body representing the plastics industry of South Africa, is excited to announce the launch of their new website.
“With the last redesign completed in 2007, the goal of the current overhaul is to provide a more functional, user-friendly navigation experience, accessing the desired information as quickly as possible,” says Anton Hanekom, Executive Director of Plastics|SA.
“Greater public understanding is needed about our industry, its role in the economy; the contribution to society and its response to environmental concerns. Plastics|SA embraces the power of the media, including print, social and online media, as part of our efforts to educate the public about plastics. The new website will be used as the primary platform to communicate with all our stakeholders,” Hanekom explains.
Apart from a new look, layout and navigation, the website now also sports a new members-only section, allowing members of Plastics|SA’s associations access to important industry information and opportunities. The news section provides current industry news; an events calendar outlines important dates and the Pressroom was developed for the media looking for information on the Plastics Industry. It features press releases, publications, position papers and information published in the media.
- Where to recycle? An interactive portal where the user can type in the area and find the closest recycling / drop off site.
- How are plastics made?
- Where do plastics come from?
- How safe is BPA?
- Plastics and Toys
- Energy efficiency
- Latest learning programmes for the Plastics Industry and many, many more.
The section ‘Plastics: part of your Life’ elaborates on the role that plastic plays in packaging, medical and health, transport, building and construction, electrical, electronics and sport and leisure.
Anton Hanekom also believes that the new website will assist Plastics|SA in reaching their target audiences with their main communication message:
Be a responsible Plastics User: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.