Two Oceans Aquarium Trash Bash
Pics by Ingrid Sinclair, Amina Hoosain, Devon Bowen/Two Oceans Aquarium
Join the final Two Oceans Aquarium Trash Bash of the year on Saturday 8 December 2018 at Sunset Beach – the next of our regular beach cleanup events in Cape Town. This year we’ve decided that we want to do more to combat coastal plastic pollution… And we want YOU to join us.
In 2019 a new Trash Bash location will be selected - we'd love to hear your suggestions of which beaches need a visit from Trash Bash.
Apart from being good for the environment, beach cleanups are also good for us humans. Anyone who’s spent a morning with us on a beach to pick up plastic pollution knows that it’s actually a chance to have a ball, to spend time with friends and family, to breathe in some fresh air and feel the sand between our toes, and to leave a slightly better, slightly more informed person.
What better way to give back than having fun while doing it?
Two Oceans Aquarium Communications & Sustainability Manager Helen Lockhart says:
Cleaning up isn’t just good for the environment, it is also good for those taking part. It leaves participants feeling that they are making a difference, playing their part and being responsible for something as fragile, yet incredibly important as the ocean. The outcome of these cleanups is often much bigger than just a cleaner beach, as it changes people’s view of their role within the environment and instils a sense of responsibility towards their surrounds. Cleanups also get us outdoors and to appreciate the beauty of our surrounds.
The Two Oceans Aquarium Trash Bash receives the support and assistance from the amazing Beach Co-op, a non-profit organisation driving change in single-use plastic through integrated surveys and research-ready beach cleanups. It’s great to have this wonderful organisation on board!
• Date: Saturday 8 December 2018
• Time: 10h00 to 12h00
• Location: Sunset Beach, Blouberg (end of Forata Drive) - We suggest ride-sharing, parking is limited.
• What to bring: Sunblock, a hat, water (in a reusable bottle), and reusable gloves (like the ones you’d use for gardening or doing dishes)
Aside from the obvious perks of doing a beach cleanup, Trash Bash also contributes to important scientific research by following the Dirty Dozen data collection method.
The Dirty Dozen are the 12 litter items that are most commonly found on our beaches. These are: Carrier bags, chip packets, cigarette lighters, cooldrink bottles, cooldrink lids, earbuds, fishing line, lightsticks, plastic lollipop sticks, straws, sweet wrappers and water bottles.
Attendees work together in groups and record everything collected, paying specific attention to the Dirty Dozen items. At the end of each cleanup, the data is collated and contributes to research tracking the different sources of marine litter.
Those of you familiar with the recent nurdle spill in KwaZulu-Natal, would be surprised by what we found on Sunset Beach! These harmless looking plastic earbud sticks were the worst pollutant found by far - 2 225 found at the first Trash Bash!
We certainly did not expect such a huge crowd at the first Trash Bash - and with enthusiasm in bucket-loads! Participants worked together in 28 groups, recording everything they collected. 12 907 pieces of litter were picked up in under two hours at Trash Bash - that works out to more than 185 pieces of litter per square metre of beach - unbelievable!
If you want to see more of the fun that took place at the first Trash Bash - check out the full report here.
We were truly amazed at the enthusiasm everybody brought with on the day! We made such a big difference.
The third Trash Bash of 2018 was even more epic - occurring on International Coastal Cleanup Day (15 September), over 500 volunteers collected more than 170kg of trash from what many people would have considered a "clean" beach.
Our oceans are facing a human-made plastic catastrophe. With estimates being that by 2050 there will be more plastic, by weight, than fish in the ocean, the time is now to make a difference and clean up our acts. Studies have shown that millions of seabirds have ingested plastic and a staggering number of sea animals die each year from plastic ingestion. Plastic has truly permeated into the deepest recesses of our natural world and has even entered our food chain.
Plastic doesn’t break down; it doesn’t degrade and become part of the natural system again. In fact, plastic breaks up. It breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes small enough, not only for small fish to mistake it for food, but research has found that even plankton is now mistaking this “forever material” for food and consuming it, introducing it into the food chain at the lowest level.
The question now is: What can we do to stop this pollution of our oceans? Considering that 80% of plastic found in the oceans originates on land, the answer is actually quite simple - we can intervene in the cycle of pollution entering the oceans via land, by removing it from the beaches and preventing it from entering the water in the first place.
Join Bruce the Shark, and let's make a Trash Bash difference!
In the past, the Two Oceans Aquarium has always supported International Coastal Cleanup Day, taking place in September each year. Trash Bash is a relatively new campaign by the Two Oceans Aquarium, expanding on our previous beach cleanup commitments by hosting quarterly. With your support, we hope to grow attendance of these cleanups and to entrench them as part of Cape Town’s culture. The following dates have been set for Trash Bash 2018:
All of the 2018 cleanups will take place at Sunset Beach, Blouberg for the purposes of regular collection of research data, and a new beach will be chosen in 2019 (we are open to your suggestions).
If you'd like more information, feel free to get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Don't forget to express your interest on the Trash Bash Facebook event to receive updated information.
Together we can have a huge impact.