International Coastal Clean-Up Day, 18 September 2021
International Coastal Clean-up Day (ICCD) has been observed annually, on the third Saturday of September, by various countries around the globe, since 1986. Following concern about the amount of litter on the world’s coastlines, conservationists and environmentalists mobilised communities to clean up beaches.The ICCD initiative remains the largest global volunteer environmental data-gathering effort and clean-up event of coastal areas to date.
In South Africa, ICCD is observed on the Saturday following Clean-up and Recycle South Africa Week which is an annual initiative by the local plastics industry, supported and endorsed by the various packaging and retail streams and retailers.
During the launch of the Good Green Deeds campaign in March 2019, President Ramaphosa called on all citizens to start taking pride in their neighbourhoods and open spaces. This began the initiative that calls on citizens to lend a hand in responsible environmental protection, management and beneficiation. The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment(DFFE) has continued with awareness raising through different activities and mediums as it seeks to assist municipalities to accelerate its work in education and awareness raising thereby empowering communities to take responsibility for their spaces and identify opportunities for work and business in the environment sector.
The DFFE’s Expanded Public Works Programmes, (EPWP) such as, Working for the Coast, Working for Water and Working for Wetlands play a crucial role in ensuring that rivers, wetlands, and beaches are kept clean and in good health. ICCD provides an opportunity to also showcase the Department's job creation programmes by inviting some of the participants to take part in the clean-up.
This year ICCD will be observed under the theme: Keep trash in the bin and not in the ocean.
This year, the local plastics industry and the Department will once again demonstrate their commitment to cleaning up the environment and removing plastics litter from rivers, streams, oceans and neighbourhoods by partnering with PlasticsSA for the coastal clean-up activities.