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04 May 2022

Glass company joins forces with conservationist to celebrate World Oceans Day

(Southlands Sun) Picture: Anthony Grote. The Durban beachfront provides ideal conditions at the Consol Breath World Ocean Day Swim on June 4.

A local non-profit organisation, Breathe Ocean Conservation, is gearing up for the 2022 Breathe World Oceans Day Swim on June 4. Coinciding with World Ocean Day on June 8, the event serves as a fundraiser for the organisation which is working to raise awareness about pollution in the ocean and eliminate single-use plastics.

As the event draws near, Africa’s largest glass packaging producer, Consol Glass, has joined forces with Breathe Conservation. Sarah Ferguson, founder of Breathe Conservation has completed several long-distance open water swims to raise awareness about ocean conservation. She achieved a Guinness World Record in March 2019 as the first person in the world to circumnavigate Rapa Nui (Easter Island), a 63.5 km swim that Ferguson completed in 19:08 hours.

“We are very excited to have Consol on board sponsoring our event because they are aligned with what we’re all about,” said Ferguson.

“Because of the reusability of glass, it’s the perfect packaging choice as we try and move away from plastics. Glass doesn’t lose its value; it is sustainable and far more environmentally friendly. We love what Consol are doing this through their 2050 campaign,” she said.

Consol’s ‘#IChanged2050’ campaign, which launched in May 2021, aims to raise awareness around the impact of waste on our oceans and to encourage consumers to change their behaviour by making more responsible packaging choices.

Research shows that unless we change our consumption behaviours, in less than 30 years there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

“This is another element to our multi-faceted 2050 campaign,” said Dale Carolin, Consol’s senior group executive for marketing and commercial, “What makes it even more exciting is that we can involve members of the community to raise awareness on this issue.”

All the proceeds from the swim will fund Breathe Conservation initiatives.

“All the money from the event goes towards our programmes, including our new marine guide development programme which we are starting in June. It will also go towards our monthly reef clean-ups as well as our educational work in schools,” Ferguson added.

“A sea swim where all the money raised goes towards marine conservation is a first-of-its-kind in Durban and that is exciting. Following last year’s Covid-19 restricted event, we are pushing this year’s event and are looking forward to welcoming as many swimmers as possible to participate,” she said.

For more information, visit www.breatheconservation.org.