Coast KZN

12 May 2021

Beach pollution unites residents in clean-up

Thobele Nzama (Southlands Sun) Picture: Members of the Merebank Civic Committee

Getting hands dirty and removing plastics and other foreign objects was the order of the day at Cuttings Beach on Saturday, 8 May. As a way to become the solution to pollution, residents including various organisations united in this worthy cause.

Members of Isphepho Enviro Ambassadors, Durban Life, Merebank Fisherfolk Forum (MFF) and the Merebank Civic Committee (MCC) championed this initiative. Staff members from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries were also there to lend a needed hand.

Chairperson of the MFF, Rishi Ganas the initiative was also a chance to get the washed-up plastic recycled. “We’re tired of all the plastic that washes down rivers and goes into the sea. The plastic will ultimately destroy our fish,” he said.

MCC member, Rev Cecil Subroyan said they’d tried to engage the municipality with solutions but still await feedback. “A few years ago we addressed the municipality to put grids along the banks of the Umlazi Canal to prevent plastic washing into it during rain.”

“The other factor is to educate the informal settlement dwellers nearby the beach to put some refusal removal system so that every time it rains, it does not wash into the sea. Instead of having a problem, we could solve it at its origin,” he said.

Member of the MCC and plastics recycling expert and exporter, Logan Govender, said he was saddened to see so much plastic at the beach.

“The main concern and what I saw is more food packaging which is polystyrene that is contaminating our land and waters. To start off, I think there should be a ban on food packing that is polystyrene because other plastics can be recyclable but they cannot,” he said.

For more photos, see online article.