Gansbaai is home to 63 stormwater drains so together with the municipality, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust is working to stop litter from reaching to the ocean.
Gansbaai, South Africa (15 January 2020) – During 2019, we shared a story about an innovation, the first of its kind in South Africa. It was originally based on an innovation created in Australia in 2018, which you can read here. The concept was to place a net on the storm drains leading out to the ocean which would catch any litter washed down the drains.
Through collaboration between Wilfred Chivell of Marine Dynamics and founder of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, and the Overstand Municipality, a net inspired by a viral Australian project has been tested in Gansbaai Harbour. Today it is called Project Storm.
Since it was installed it has caught quite a few bits of plastic. A study was started to monitor exactly what was caught in the net.
“The net was monitored by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust team with the support of Marine Dynamics Academy to assess the ‘catch’. After only 12 analysed net counts, the statistics have been frightening.
Cigarettes/Cigarette filters were the top offending item at 25671.
This was followed by: Food Wrappers/Containers 12118 Microplastics 4663, Foil pieces 3515, Plastic Pieces 3459, Paper packaging/pieces 3163, Bags (plastic) 3137, Polystyrene 1795.00, Straws, Stirrers, Sucker sticks 1054.
Brands were also reviewed. Plastic bottles and cans were prominent items found in the net with Golden Valley (60) the highest bottle polluter recorded, followed by Coca-Cola (13) and Aquella (13). Score cans (41) came in tops followed by Coca-cola (21). The top ten food wrapper brands found: Truda (298), Tayas (248), Simba (229), Smoothies (227), Halls (138), Beacon (127), Nestle (123), Ciri (99), Cadbury (97), Pengo (85).
In all 299 different food wrappers were counted, 33 plastic bottle brands and 30 can brands. Chip packets fall under food wrappers – sadly these are non-recyclable.”
Recently the Trust joined forces with the Overstrand Municipality. Councillor Riana de Coning and Overstrand Municipality Gansbaai Manager Francois Myburgh met with the Trust representatives Pinkey Ngewu and Brenda du Toit, to place stencils on the drains in town with a message of “Don’t Litter. The Sea Starts Here.”
The Trust has called this Project Storm and has received enquiries from around South Africa on how to take this forward in various areas.
“We hope that through this project we can minimise the impact on our marine wildlife by reducing the amount of waste entering the marine system, as well as use the statistics to educate the public of the impact poorly discarded trash has on the ecosystem. I am also so glad that we have the incredible support of the Overstrand Municipality to jointly work on such projects.” – Wilfred Chivell, Marine Dynamics
Gansbaai has a total of 63 stormwater outlets, all of which send rainwater and the likes towards the ocean. The Dyer Island Conservation Trust and the Overstrand Municipality are partners in various projects that include environmental education, beach clean-ups, fishing line bins, animal rescue and more.
Interested companies can sponsor the manufacture of a net for R5000 and can get in touch with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust to do so. The storm nets will be mapped on the Trust website so each company will be acknowledged for their contribution in this way.
Contact Brenda du Toit under firstname.lastname@example.org to support Project Storm.