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Opportunity Issue 103

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

Understanding Marine L

Understanding Marine L itter and its impacts SEATHECHANGE International Coastal Clean-up Day 2022 delivered clean and clear results. Approximately 1.6-million kilograms of litter have been collected by more than 17-million volunteers globally since the inception of the International Coastal Clean-up Day (ICCD) – making our coasts cleaner and our oceans healthier. As a result of the success of this annual event, the entire week has been turned into a nationwide awareness campaign that encourages citizens from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds to make a conscious effort to pick up and remove litter from their streets, neighbourhoods, schools, inland water sources and streams or nearby beaches. In 2022 South Africa also celebrated National GOOD GREEN River DEEDS Clean-up Day for the first time, on 14 September, in recognition of the importance of keeping our rivers clean for a healthier ocean environment. Plastic marine litter is not only unsightly, thus impacting on tourism, but can also have a devastating impact on marine life through entanglement and ingestion. It has the potential to spread throughout the food web as marine animals consume each other. Research also shows that the presence of plastics can affect both the number and type of marine organisms that inhabit a particular area. Plastics are also capable of absorbing and accumulating poison present in the water, which can be transferred to living organisms once ingested. Marine animals such as fish, birds, sea turtles, seals and dolphins become entangled in debris that ends up in the ocean – including fishing lines, nets, ropes and other discarded fishing equipment. SEATHECHANGE The 2022 theme for ICCD is “SeaTheChange”. As a result, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) would like impress upon all participating organisations and members of the public that every bottle, every straw and every piece of litter you clean up can lead to a cleaner and healthier ocean. The Department has been actively involved in supporting cleanup initiatives through its Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP) and initiatives such as Working for the Coast, Working for Water and Working for Wetlands. These job-creation programmes play a crucial role in ensuring that our rivers, wetlands, estuaries and beaches are kept clean and in good health. In addition, the DFFE will in due course commence with a further jobcreation project aimed at preventing litter, especially plastic litter, from reaching our estuaries and beaches. The Source to Sea Employment

WASTE MANAGEMENT COASTAL CLEAN UP waste management and these solutions are often damaging to the health of communities and the well-being of the environment. Minister Creecy stresses that everyone has a role to play: “To achieve the goals of this strategy all of us must play our part. National and provincial government must support municipalities to develop locally-integrated waste-management strategies. We must ensure our landfills comply with the regulatory environment and waste does not leach into groundwater or into the soil. We must invest in the yellow fleet and every year we must ensure more and more homes have access to safe waste disposal.” Government has set up the regulatory environment for extended producer-responsibility schemes to promote recycling in the packaging, electronics and lighting industries, with recent regulations gazetted for new sectors such as used oil and pesticides. The regulations for organic-waste treatment and organic-waste composting have also been published for implementation in order to divert waste away from landfills and create new industries. “Communities must begin to separate their waste at home so that waste reclaimers can undertake their work in a dignified manner. Households must teach family members not to litter and must work with their neighbours to prevent illegal dumpsites. All of us must participate in regular clean-up campaigns to beautify our communities and protect our environment,” observed Minister Creecy. In addition, the Department has also cooperated with National Treasury and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to change the Municipal Infrastructure Grant Policy so that municipalities can access the grant to fund their yellow fleet. “Government and the private sector must work with waste reclaimers so that we build a dignified waste and reclaiming industry that promotes waste diversion from landfills, promotes the circular economy and gives a decent livelihood to the tens of thousands of men and women who do the daily back-breaking work of the recycling industry,” urged Minister Creecy. Dustan Woodhouse on Unsplash Stimulus Project will target rivers and other waterways for clean-up action by employing and mobilising unemployed youth. The project is envisaged to commence in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, followed by a further rollout to the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape provinces. Annually on the third Saturday of September, South Africa has joined over 100 countries to celebrate International Coastal Clean-up Day, which was established by the Ocean Conservancy in 1986. The ICCD, to date, remains the world's largest coastal clean-up initiative aimed at helping make the planet a cleaner, happier place for humans, plants and animals. This year marks 26 years of South Africa’s involvement in the ICCD celebration – the first mask-free mass clean-up event since the country was faced with the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s ICC Day was observed on the Saturday following the annual Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week, an initiative by the local plastics industry, supported and endorsed by the various packaging and retail streams and retailers. Every year millions of tons of waste, especially plastic material, are generated worldwide and end up in the marine and coastal environment. This causes a dire situation for the health of the earth’s oceans, which nicipalities are struggling to provide regular and consistent waste collection services. Once dumpsites develop, they are not regularly cleared and a number of landfills directly impacts the health of its people due to plastic material lasting not meet regulatory compliance standards. for a very long time in the ocean. Find us: Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Watch us: EnvironmentZA Follow us: @EnvironmentZA Email: callcentre@environment.gov.za Call centre: 086 111 2468

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