It’s March, and that means it’s National Water Week. The summer rains of 2020/2021 have once again highlighted the plight of most of South Africa’s rivers and estuaries.

World Water Day, held annually on 22 March, educates and highlights the importance of the availability of clean and safe drinking water as a natural resource and as a basic human right.  It is reported that almost one third of the world’s population do not have access to safe water. The United Nations estimates that by 2050, up to 5,2 billion people could be living in areas that experience high water scarcity for at least one month in a year.

National Water Week – 15 to 22 March – is an environmental celebration that Plastics SA and our partners support and promote as part of our annual Clean-up and Recycle SA campaign. Plastics|SA donated almost 15 000 bags to organisations in Mpumalanga and Gauteng, for cleanups during Water Week.  The coastal regions used bags donated to them for Cleanup and Recycle Week 2020.

This year we acknowledge the eco-warriors whose unwavering commitment to protecting our rivers and waterways sets an example and makes a huge difference to our environment at the same time, creating awareness each step of the way.

The Caroline Reid Award, which was launched by Plastics SA in 2019, aims to recognise and reward excellence in South Africa by an individual or group in the field of marine and coastal clean-ups.  Caroline Reid was an ocean conservation warrior who sadly passed away in 2018. Caroline coordinated hundreds of beach and diving clean-ups and was central to the work done  in the Durban harbour in 2017 when nurdles leaked out of containers that had fallen from a ship during a storm.  She worked tirelessly to increase the awareness of plastics pollution on the KwaZulu-Natal Coastline.

Groups of eco-warriors just like Caroline, were identified during March, cleaning up litter on busy roads where gutters lead to nearby waterways; wading knee-deep in rivers removing trapped litter and creating awareness everywhere possible, of the urgent need to save our environment from this scourge.  They have all received the Caroline Reid Award in appreciation of their dedicated efforts.

These amazing groups are:

Diarise these dates:

13 – 18 September:  Cleanup and Recycle Week

17 September: Recycling Day

18 September: International Coastal Cleanup Day

Please contact should you require support  for your cleanups.  Every bag of litter removed from the environment makes a difference!