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NEWS WATCH: Coastal Cleanup; Reinventing the Landfill; Community Recycling and more

  • Plastic Not Fantastic: More than 20 000 volunteers trawled South Africa’s coastline on Saturday 17 September for International Coastal Cleanup Day. While this years inventory will only be available in October, the Cape’s top 5 litter items in 2010 were: 7 494 plastic bottle caps and lids, 4 867 plastic bottles, 4 199 food wrappers and containers, 4 041 plastic bags and 3 806 plastic straws.
  • Reinventing the Landfill: Ideally, we should all compost our own green waste or send it away to be composted. When green waste does end up in landfill it creates methane gas as it decomposes.

  • Trashback Rewards Community Recycling: A community recycling initiative recently launched in Hout Bay’s informal settlement, Imizamo Yethu. ‘Trashback’ provides locals with incentives to clean up their communities and has the potential to transform community recycling in SA.
  • Raising Awareness of Plastic Waste: Most of us are familiar with the concept of a carbon footprint, but whoever heard of a plastic footprint? A new international initiative, the Plastics Disclosure Project asks organisations to assess their plastics usage in an attempt to raise awareness about the vast amounts of plastic waste entering the environment.
  • Drakensberg Also Under Threat Of Fracking: While many South African’s are aware of the proposed ‘fracking’ for gas in the Karoo, many are unaware that large parts of the Free State, Eastern Cape Highlands and KwaZulu-Natal are also under threat.
  • The True Cost of Nuclear Energy: Greenpeace SA recently presented their latest report The True Cost of Nuclear Energy in South Africa to the Department of Environmental Affairs. The report outlines SA’s “costly nuclear history, its failure to learn from past mistakes and how the country could leave dirty and dangerous energy behind by investing in renewables.”
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