Polyco & Local NPO to inspire positive recycling habits as part of Inkwazi Isu, the Fish Eagle Project, in Kwazulu Natal’s Upper South Coast
A much-needed and worthy project has just been launched at the Amanzimtoti Taxi Rank in the Upper South Coast of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal to inspire positive recycling habits and to end plastic waste in the surrounding environment. The intention is to use this pilot project as a basis for fuelling similar projects across South Africa. This project forms part of Inkwazi Isu, under the greater KZN Marine Waste Network South Coast Project, which is focused on implementing solutions to address plastic waste in the areas between the Amanzimtoti and Umbogintwini Rivers.
The upliftment of the Amanzimtoti Taxi Rank and surrounds, which borders the canal that leads into the Amanzimtoti River, is being managed by a passionate team of ocean lovers from the local non-profit organisation, Clean Surf Project, and sponsored by Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation NPC (Polyco).
“Clean Surf Project has engaged in numerous beach cleanups as well as educational programs since April 2017. The need to find solutions is dire in order to minimize plastic pollution in the environment and to safeguard the invaluable ecosystems that surround us,” says Clean Surf Project founder, Denzil van der Westhuizen.
The taxi rank is situated in the Amanzimtoti CBD and is a hub for commuters. Plastic pollution was clearly visible with litter being thrown onto the streets and into the canal. Litter bins were scarce, which encouraged people to increase the disposal of litter inappropriately.
Clean Surf Project’s founder, Denzil van der Westhuizen, with the support of Romy Wenzel, identified the highly polluted area and have been working with Polyco to revive the Amanzimtoti CBD and thereby enhance and support the local tourism industry. The aim is to instil a sense of pride in the area by painting powerful imagery of nature on the walls of the taxi rank and working with the taxi industry and informal traders in the area to educate consumers about disposing of litter and recyclables responsibly and ultimately to reduce marine pollution.
“This is a relatively small, focussed project, but one that can have a large impact. This project combines the provision of anti-litter and recycling bins infrastructure with the sharing of educational messages about recycling and anti-littering through the employment of dedicated waste educators and clear signage. It also includes the provision of a strategically placed litter boom in the Amanzimtoti River to prevent pollution from landing up in the sea, as well as uplifting the area with beautiful local artwork. We would like to prove that this model can work and then implement it in other areas within South Africa, which will take us closer to fulfilling our objective of ending plastic waste in the environment.” says Lisl Liedemann, Polyco’s lead on this project.
“Not only does this initiative assist with much-needed job creation, it also supports local businesses within the greater project area of Inkwazi Isu by employing the services of a local manufacturer, artist and videographer, as well as working with the local waste collection company, SW Collectors, to give used packaging new life,” says Clean Surf Project’s Romy Wenzel.
Polyco’s aim is to prove that this model works as a successful case study and will then look to replicate the model with other passionate NGO’s across South Africa.
“The goal is to encourage improved recycling and anti-litter behaviour in the Amanzimtoti area. Then to transform these actions into daily habits for everyone, so that together, we can stop waste going into the river, which currently ends up in the Amanzimtoti Lagoon, and ultimately gets washed out to sea and then scattered along the coastline. This pilot model could and should be adapted nationwide,” concludes Polyco’s CEO, Mandy Naudé.
To find out more about Polyco, visit their website: www.polyco.co.za
To find out more about Inkwazi Isu visit their website: http://www.inkwaziisu.co.za
To find out more about Clean Surf Project visit their website: https://www.facebook.com/cleansurfproject/