Non-governmental organisations are turning their attention to the city’s beaches as clean-up operations continue across eThekwini following the severe flooding in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Litterboom Project – an organisation dedicated to removing plastic from rivers in the Durban metro – says last week’s floods left beaches full of plastic litter.
The storm also washed away their critical booms that catch plastic and debris, preventing it from reaching the ocean.
Working with Green Corridor and Adopt-A-River, Operations manager, Josh Redman says his team has collected about 700 bags of plastic from a small stretch of beach, south of the Umgeni River mouth.
“Now we focus our attention on the southern bank of the Umgeni where there’s another huge collection. It was a bit difficult to get there last week just because of the water levels. Now it’s come down a bit and we’re going to start focussing on that area. We’ve got teams on Umdloti beaches which have been very badly affected there. But as the week go out we’re going to start to put teams in more locations because the whole coastline is in a very bad state.”
Race against time to get rid of plastic
Redman says they are in a race against time to remove the accumulated plastic from the beaches. “Well it’s just going to find its way into the ocean and it’s going to be floating around there for the next thousand years. So we’ve got a little bit of time to try to get it off the beaches. We’ve found plastic that has come out at Umdloti there that’s like from the 80s. And it’s still in our environment. So if we don’t get it off the beach now, it is going to go. Yes, we’re going to lose it to the ocean and it’ll be floating around there and affecting the wildlife.”
VIDEO | Debris left on Durban beaches by the recent KZN floods: