Coast KZN

28 Jun 2019

Collect the most ‘mermaid tears’ at this year’s Ballito Pro and you could win

Elana Wagner (North Coast Courier) Picture: Litter4Tokens has partnered with O'Neill to launch the first-ever 'Mermaid Tear Catcher' with prizes for those who collect the most mermaid tears (plastic nurdles).

Part of loving where you live is looking after the place you love which The Ballito Pro is passionate about as they love where they surf – Willard Beach. Share the love by helping to collect mermaid tears to make the ocean a happier place as the Pro team up with Litter4Tokens in their Save the Waves campaign from July 1-7.

Being an outdoor festival that celebrates the ocean, festival event organiser Collette Bundy said they have made sure to have a strong focus on raising awareness to protect the environment.

“The Ballito Pro, KwaDukuza and O’Neill brands are very much aligned in their vision for a completely sustainable festival that not only reduces its footprint but also educates the public about ways to protect our valuable and vulnerable resources,” said Bundy.

“This year we will be focusing on reducing litter, improving ocean health and the protection of wildlife species through our education and awareness campaigns.”

Litter4Tokens is an active recycling campaign that was started by Clare Swithenbank-Bowman in KwaDukuza in 2015. The idea is simple – every bag of litter collected and brought in is rewarded with tokens. These can then be exchanged for a variety of dry goods at token shops within the partnered schools and communities across KwaDukuza.

Billions of plastic nurdles have littered the KZN coastline. Photo: Allan Troskie.

“Litter4Tokens aims to create jobs, feed the nation, and instill pride by cleaning up the environment and raising awareness about the devastation of plastics,” said Swithenbank-Bowman.

“Working with the surfing world plays a huge part in our mission as the ocean is ultimately where all the plastic ends up.”

The campaign has given the community an opportunity to do good while creating a living for themselves and their families. One example is 59-year-old Victoria, a grandmother from Shaka’s Head who supports five children. She is able to collect 20 to 25 bags of recycling a week which helps her buy food and clothing for the children.

As a special extra for the Ballito Pro, Litter4Tokens has partnered with O’Neill to launch the first-ever ‘Mermaid Tear Catcher’ with prizes for those who collect the most mermaid tears (plastic nurdles).

These small plastic pellets have a devastating effect on the delicate marine ecosystem. Each Mermaid Tear Catcher has a unique code which is collected and this valuable data is shared with the World Global Nurdle Foundation. Look out for the Litter4Tokens team who will be on site and happy to chat to holidaymakers and share information about their work.

To support Litter4Tokens contact Clare at