How recycled plastics are helping to save a mangrove swamp

Beachwood Boardwalk KZNWorld Oceans Day is a global day of celebrating the ocean, and this year people all over the world are celebrating “Healthy Oceans – Healthy Planet’ and promoting the prevention of marine litter.

For the 2016 World Oceans Day, Plastics|SA (the SA Plastics Industry), collaborated with Grindrod Bank, Wildlands Trust, POLYCO and Packaging SA, to upgrade the walkways at the Beachwood Mangroves in Durban. “These mangroves are a very sensitive ecosystem and are often damaged and desecrated by debris washed down from the nearby Umgeni River,” says Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics|SA.

The weathered and rickety wooden walkways, which make their way from the entrance all the way to the beach, were replaced by raised walkways which are made from recycled plastic including thousands of milk bottles and plastic bags. The walkways will now withstand the weather conditions and provide safe and easy viewing of the area and its inhabitants.

World Oceans Day launch and Cleanup 2016 group picTo celebrate World Oceans Day 2016 and the unveiling of the new walkway, Plastics|SA recently joined Beach Cleanup KZN and volunteers from companies such as SAGE, Durban Solid Waste, Toyota, The Glass Recycling Company, KZN Wildlife, RNL Plastics, Duwalcoe and Wakefields Properties to cleanup the stretch of beach from the Mangroves to Blue Lagoon.

Plastics|SA was also a key supporter of a World Oceans Day event organised by the Department of Environmental Affairs on 17 June by providing bags for clean-ups on the beaches around Blue Lagoon Beach in Durban. Douw Steyn addressed the audience consisting of 2 500 volunteers from government, schools, local communities and industry on the importance of taking responsibility for our plastic waste and its recycling. He also made use of the opportunity to promote the plastics industry’s annual “Cleanup and Recycle Week” which will take place this year from 12 to 17 September 2016 and will be dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela.

World Oceans Day Cleanup KZN 2016During her presentation at the event, the Honourable Director General, Nosipho Ngcaba, emphasized the importance of creating awareness around marine litter, and educating communities on the value of clean water as well as the opportunities offered in waste.

Remember a healthy ocean, a healthy planet!!

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