Due to Covid-19, plastic refuse now seriously litters the shoreline of Cape Town's Black River as it enters the Atlantic Ocean

Cleaning up Cape Town's Black River Plastic Tsunami in the Time of Covid

Cape Town, August 23, 2020 – One large 1,000-liter bag brimming with polystyrene, three large 400-liter bags choc-a-bloc with pet bottles, five-80 liter bags overflowing with shoes and one bag bursting with bottle tops, straws and lollipop sticks. All the result of a couple of hours back-straining effort by 30 adult and young volunteers to help clean a heavily littered stretch in the mouth of Cape Town’s Black River where it enters the Atlantic Ocean.

“Covid-19 has made worse an already bad plastics pollution situation in the Black River due to PPE waste and movement restrictions obliging people who would normally volunteer for a cleanup to stay at home,” said Janneke Brasecke, head of local water company Bluewater, which provides pure drinking water from mobile water stations to waste clean-up teams run by the #SeaTheBiggerPicture non-profit organisation under a newly-agreed one year partnership.

Plastic pollution has increased dramatically during the pandemic according to #SeaTheBiggerPicture in part due to a ten-week closure of waste recycling facilities during South Africa’s lockdown, disruption of normal cleaning services, and an increase in homeless people sleeping along the river who leave trash close to the banks where it ultimately ends up in the water.

“There may be fewer people helping our beach and river cleanups right now due to the virus but we believe it’s important for the world to know that that even during a pandemic people can stand and come together to look after the planet in Covid-safe ways,” said Janneke.

She noted that Bluewater, a globally active Swedish company with a subsidiary in South Africa, has put sustainability and ending the need for single-use plastic bottles at the very heart of its business mission.

“Bluewater offers world leading water purification technology for homes, businesses and public distribution and our unique mobile water stations deliver water purified of practically all known contaminants from automated dispensers designed to fill reusable water bottles without the need to push a button,” Janneke said.

Note to Editors

A Bluewater water trailers will be on hand at the next big #SeaTheBiggerPicture water and beach cleanup in Cape Town on September 19, which is celebrated in a growing number of countries globally as National Cleanup Day.

For more information, please contact Janneke Brassecke at +27 727131410or janneke.brassecke@bluewatergroup.com.

International press enquiries to Dave Noble, Bluewater PR & Communications Director, at +44 7785 302 694 or david.noble@bluewatergroup.com