South Africans celebrate World Oceans Day by cleaning up beaches

People cleaning up on a beach
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In the Western Cape the Two Oceans Aquarium has initiated a beach clean-up to celebrate World Oceans Day. 80% of plastic found in the oceans originate on land.

Ingrid Sinclaire from Two Oceans Aquarium says: “We believe that governmental and corporate engagement needs to happen quite urgently. This can only be solved if everyone works together, so there needs to be tech innovation around recycling and the types of plastic that are out. But we also need retail, manufacturers and government to recognize the problem and to take action!”

Studies have shown that millions of seabirds have ingested plastic. A staggering number of sea animals die each year from plastic ingestion.

But humans are also at risk as plastic doesn’t bio-degrade and becomes part of the natural system again.

It breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes small enough to enter the food chain.

“Cleaning up all this plastic, so much litter, it’s really good to know that you are doing something good for the ocean”

“I’ve seen plastic straws; I’ve seen plastic lids, lots of things,” says one of the kids.

“We’re fans of the Ocean, we enjoy the sea and we want to make sure that the ocean is protected for a very long time for our kids, so for us it’s important to instil in them just the values of what the ocean brings to us,” says another kid.

In less than two hours, bags full of trash were cleared. – Reporting by Linky Bierman

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In KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, Greenpeace has called for more action to protect the oceans from pollution. Volunteers of the organisation staged a demonstration at Durban’s beach front.

Greenpeace says plastic is increasingly becoming a threat to the well being of the entire environment.
The organisation took part in a global blue wave campaign.

Desree Laverne of Green Peace Africa says: “We as human beings don’t respect what we do with our pollution. We think if we throw away its away forever. It’s not away forever; it’s got to be somewhere. What the plastic in the ocean is doing is apart from plastic tangling fish and bird life and dolphins etc.its suffocating every single organisation that leaves in the ocean.” – Reporting By Ntando Mnyandu

In the Eastern Cape with plastic polluting the oceans young people in Port Elizabeth began a massive clean-up. It’s such efforts that help reduce sea pollution and ensure marine conservation

In 2014 an estimated 236-million tonnes of micro-plastic particles were floating in the ocean.

Keeping the land free of plastic also assists.

The world of marine related careers was also showcased to participating learners. – Reporting by Lerato Thipa

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