Based on current usage trends, South Africa will approach physical water scarcity by 2025 and a water deficit of 17% by 2030 (ESI-Africa). This will be further exacerbated by climate change and polluted water sources. In support of this year’s theme of World Water Day, “What does water mean to you?” The Zero Waste Foundation, together with Don’t Waste, aims to create awareness on the impacts of pollution and illegal dumping on water bodies in South Africa, through clean-up initiatives across the country.
In November 2020, The Zero Waste Foundation supported by Don’t Waste teams collaborated with partners, Adopt-A-River & AdReach to clean up the Blue Lagoon area in Durban. The Blue Lagoon is a tourist hotspot for both retail and recreational activities, and has, unfortunately, been plagued with river-born plastic pollution traveling downstream into the lagoon and sea. The mouth of the uMgeni River is surrounded by informal settlements where waste management is severely limited.
Figure 1: Pollution along the shores at Blue Lagoon
Figure 2: Cleaned up areas at Blue Lagoon
Common items collected during the clean-up included: plastic cool drink bottles, packets, milk bottles, polystyrene take-away containers, and multi-laminate packaging (chips and chocolate wrappers).
Prioritising Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and 14 (Life Below Water), Don’t Waste and The Zero Waste Foundation welcomes partnerships with both not for profit and corporate organizations on environmental clean-ups and socio-economic initiatives.
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