Milnerton beach is where you want to be with your kids and others from 11 Western Cape schools on the worldâ€™s largest single-day volunteer effort to eradicate litter and debris from beaches, inland waterways and oceans. This is one of a number of beach clean-up events which form part of the Our Schools Cares initiative by Peninsula Beverages, bottler of the products of The Coca-Cola Company in the Western Cape.
Over 1000 Peninsula Beverages staff and 500 school children are expexted.According to Peninsula Beverages MD Stuart McLeod, this event is another facet of the companyâ€™s commitment to clean up the environment.
‘This year we will host 6 beach clean ups around the Cape Peninsula. At each event we partner with the Environmental Action Group and various schools. The campaign is also strengthened by a school competition, where schools proactively clean up areas within their communitiesâ€, said McLeod
Live for a difference
He added that this global environmental initiative impacts three areas of The Coca-ColaCompanyâ€™s Live for A Difference commitments – Sustainable Packaging, Water Stewardship and Active Healthy Living.
‘On the Sustainable Packaging side, we are actively working throughout the Coca-Cola system to create solutions by advancing a global sustainable packaging strategy aimed at preventing waste over the life of our packaging.
McLeod said that approximately 85% of the global beverage volume is delivered in recyclable bottles and cans. In 2009, The Coca-Cola system contributed hundreds of millions of dollars toward initiatives that collected or recovered more than 35% of the equivalent bottles and cans sold worldwide. The recovery of these containers and their materials for re-use is critical. Our goal is to increase this recovery to 50% by 2015, he added.
‘This global effort provides an opportunity for us to raise awareness about the importance of preventing litter and shows our support for keeping our oceans free of debris.â€
3.4 kg of marine debris collected
‘Last year, beverage-related items comprised 26% of the total debris collected during the International Coastal Cleanup including plastic, glass and aluminum beverage cans and caps and lidsâ€, he added. Around the world, 498,818 volunteers picked up 3.4 million kg of marine debris, in 108 countries and locations around the world. Nearly 42,000 Coca-Cola system associates, their friends and families in 32 markets around the world participated, contributing nearly 265,000 hours of volunteer help.
‘ICC also helps us to meet our commitments to water stewardship, most directly by watershed restoration and protection. Globally, Coca-Cola has more than 200 community water partnerships that focus on water protection, conservation and providing access to clean water and sanitation for communities. These projects span more than 60 countries around the world.
McLeod added that in the Western Cape a number of schoolswere chosen as part of the Leave a Legacy campaign, which is a major water project associated with Coca-Colaâ€™s partnership with 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Local action drives global change
‘We encourage associates to participate in local events, with your family and friends. It’s a day to make a difference, be physically active and support our commitment to Livefor a Difference. Because local action drives global change, each associatesâ€™ individual contribution makes a difference on our beaches, inland waterways and oceans.
In its 15th year of support, Coca-Cola is expecting to contribute 50,000 volunteers across 40 countries.
In addition to debris removal, the clean-up includes a data collection effort for volunteers to record the specific types of debris recovered, providing insight into marine pollution. The event also is an opportunity to educate the public on litter abatement. Through debris removal, data collection, public education and collaboration with industry and policymakers, Ocean Conservancy strives to prevent marine debris and keep our waterways clean.
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