As part of its observance of World Oceans Day (8 June) Durban-based Green Corridors urges action from citizens to combat plastic pollution as part of its drive to try to reduce the amount of plastic waste flowing into the oceans in our rivers.
World Oceans Day aims to “remind all global citizens of the major role the oceans have in everyday life, by informing the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.”
One of the critical interventions that countries are looking at is how to prevent plastic going into the ocean. Green Corridors, is an NGO that looks after green spaces and supports communities to work with these spaces, has installed 16 litterbooms onto waterways in the eThekwini Municipality to minimize the flow of plastics into the Indian Ocean.
These litterbooms are large plastic pipes that trap floating waste; the waste is collected by local community co-ordinators, and sorted. Plastics that are not able to be recycled are taken to the Green Corridors KwaMashu Materials Beneficiation Centre and through a process combined with other materials are converted into “green” pavers.
Green Corridors’ litterboom co-ordinator, Siphiwe Rakgabale, says, “There is something like 75- 199 million tons of plastic waste floating about in the oceans, mostly flowing into the sea from rivers. This plastic pollution not only endangers marine biodiversity but also contributes to climate change.”
“Last year Green Corridors were able to remove 2 tons of plastic from our 16 litterbooms,” says Rakgabale.
“But this is a fragment of what could be captured and redirected. The waste comes down these water ways through the inappropriate use of storm water drains, lack of waste management services around informal settlements and lack of awareness amongst consumers about the impact of the products they buy.”
Green Corridors is calling upon governments, businesses, communities, and individuals to take action and support initiatives that help to minimize the waste flowing into the oceans.
“By investing in sustainable waste management systems, promoting recycling, and raising awareness about the importance of reducing plastic consumption, we can create a positive and lasting impact on our oceans and the planet as a whole,” says Rakgabale.
Green Corridors will participate in a number of events during the month of June to create awareness around waste management and recycling related to the oceans:
- On Saturday 10 June at the World Oceans Day Swim Green Corridors will have a stand at the Durban Beach Club where you can meet the team involved in the litterboom, and clean-ups.
- Also on Saturday 10 June from 2pm, the KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre will be performing at the Global Water Dance Festival at Green Corridors – Green Hub open Grass area.