New calls have been made for South Africa to join other African countries, most recently in Tanzania, which have pledged to ban single-use plastics … while the mountains of plastic waste accumulate on the only and emblematic beach in Durban after the devastating floods at KZN this week, killing 60 people and more than 1,000 displaced people.
Tragically, some of the things that are being washed belong to residents’ belongings from huts that have collapsed in the rain and mud avalanches, but these are largely plastic cups and bottles that were swept away by the floods.
Social media commentators have called for everything from better recycling management and corporate responsibility to tougher anti-plastic laws, but one commentator, Jonathan Broughton, has eliminated everything with his observation:
I read these comments. My mind is boggled. People are blaming manufacturers. Really people. They are not throwing them into rivers and oceans. Just stop buying plastic. We talk about coke, nestle, kraft, all the big names controlling the world. Stop buying their stuff. They’ll be out of business in 6 months. People have the power, unfortunately they do not have the will. We will kill ourselves before the earth dies. Just saying…
Greenpeace Africa published photos and said: “It’s Enough to make you sick”
The plastic crisis has attracted photographers and film crews from around the world.
A woman risks her life to take pictures of South Africa’s plastic pollution crisis
Dawn Rouse, a photographer from Durban, captured this sequence of photos of a woman who may be working for an organization like Greenpeace, who was risking her own life trying to take close-ups of the plastic pollution on the beach:
Curator Grant Blakeway (58), who plans to travel 4,800 km from the Atlantic on a small boat only in December, to raise awareness of marine ecosystems in trouble, said:
The flooding in KwaZulu-Natal has been catastrophic on so many levels. Lives have been lost. Homes have been damaged. Infrastructure has been ruined. My heart breaks for every human affected by this disastrous situation. And my heart aches for Durban’s marine life, too, because the harbour area is a literal wasteland. My wife and I went down to Wilson’s Wharf on Tuesday 23 April 2019 to survey the pollution brought down by swollen rivers. Our photographs tell a very sad story…
Grant and his wife also visited the north bank of the Umgeni River and the nearby Blue Lagoon Beach. He said: “The upstream garbage barriers could not withstand the force of the storm surge, and that’s the result … Batteries and piles of plastic and other garbage in the river, in the sea and on the coast. ”
The Cleanup …
Official cleaning crews are doing everything they can to clean the garbage, but more help is needed …
Dawn Rouse has captured these homeless people doing something good and, hopefully, making money while they are there: