• Staff writer

POLYCO AND LOCAL NPO INSPIRE POSITIVE RECYCLING HABITS


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A much-needed project has been launched at the Amanzimtoti taxi rank in KZN, 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 fueling similar projects across South Africa. It 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 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 clean-ups as well as educational programs since April 2017. The need to find solutions is dire in order to minimise plastic pollution in the environment and to safeguard the invaluable ecosystems that surround us, according to Denzil van der Westhuizen, founder of Clean Surf Project. 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 led to the inappropriate disposal of litter. Clean Surf Project identified the highly polluted area and has been working with Polyco to revive the Amanzimtoti CBD, thereby enhancing and supporting the local tourism industry. The aim is to instill 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 reducing marine pollution. The project combines the provision of anti-litter and recycling bins infrastructure with the sharing of educational messages about these aspects, 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 local art work. 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 a local waste collection company. 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 NGOs across the country. The goal is to encourage improved recycling and anti-littering behaviour in the Amanzimtoti area, and to transform these actions into daily habits for everyone. In this way, waste can be prevented from going into the river, ending up in the Amanzimtoti lagoon, and ultimately getting washed out to sea and being scattered along the coastline. www.polyco.co.za www.inkwaziisu.o.za www.facebook.com/cleansurfproject


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