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A R54 000 donation from surf webcam provider Ocean Eye recently secured a vital new litter sorting station for The Litterboom Project. Located at Blackburn Village on the Umhlanga River, the sorting station provide pickers from the local, mostly unemployed, community the opportunity to earn an income. At the same time they are educated about looking after the environment and finding innovative ways to create useful products from the waste they collect.
The Litterboom Project’s national operations manager and renowned big wave surfer, Josh Redman, said the objective was to empower communities across the country and protect the environment by fighting plastic pollution at the source.
Ocean Eye co-owner Paolo Falconer said pickers were so motivated by the financial incentive that they were picking litter faster than the rubbish came in, and were now being taken elsewhere to collect more plastic.
“We are looking at helping The Litterboom Project install another boom and sorting station further upstream at Waterloo, which is a bigger area that produces more litter,” said Falconer.
He said they chose to help The Litterboom Project as Redman was a close friend of the Umdloti-based Ocean Eye team, and as such the project was close to their hearts.
“Their immediate need was for a sorting station at Blackburn Village to take litter from the river boom and the informal settlement itself to a place where the valuable plastics can be picked out and the bad plastics can be disposed off properly.”
Ocean Eye founder Greame Brunt said the donation was made possible by the growth in their subscriber base.
“The more we grow the more we can give back,” said Brunt.
With 10% of every subscription going into the Ocean Eye fund to help protect our oceans, he said the organisation also partnered with ocean conservation initiatives across the country such as Protect the West Coast, Sentinel Ocean Alliance and Surfers not Street Children.
Scan this Zapper code to donate to The Litterboom Project and help clean up our rivers and the ocean.
A portion of the Ocean Eye donation also helped fund six of The Litterboom Project’s beach clean-ups last year. Plastic pollution of our rivers and oceans is a constant menace. Anyone interested in financially assisting The Litterboom Project in their war on plastic pollution can donate via the QR code above.