Like the Muizenberg Junior School Whale Tail builders, surfers are also raising awareness about plastic pollution at Sea. Three young surfer dudes from Oceangybe, two South African brothers and a Canadian friend set sale from Canada to scout and score awesome surf around the globe. What started out as a surfing adventure turned into an ocean pollution awareness raising expedition. Although searching for that perfect wave is an important part of their agenda these dudes are making big waves about the amount of plastic pollution at sea. While skirting the Great Pacific Gyre, a massive circulating current system in a wind free zone, they saw first-hand the fabled Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The impact of seeing a floating garbage dump 4 times the size of the UK has changed their lives. Now it was not just about finding virgin waves on remote beaches, but they have been recording plastic pollution wherever they go and set themselves the challenge of finding a truly unpolluted beach. While they surfed in many remote corners and recorded tons of pollution, as yet they have not found a single uncontaminated coastline.
The number of plastic `bottled water’ bottles rivaled the traditional `soft drinks’ bottles that they saw along many beaches. Drinking bottles water has become a fashion statement in many parts of the world. In South Africa, where municipal tap water in almost all of our communities is safe, so many of us still buy bottled water without thinking about the environmental cost of producing the bottled water or the impact of the resulting plastic pollution. Drink tap water! A litre of bottled mineral water generates around 600 times more carbon dioxide than a litre of tap water. (Source: Project 90×2030)
Each plastic bottle, packet, container that we recycle is one less in our rivers, wetlands and seas. What’s your take on the bottled water debate? Share with us how you are doing your bit. Muizenberg Junior School is building a life size Southern Right Whale Tail at their school. They are filling the metal frame with used plastic and plastic bottles and covering the frame with bottle tops. Their Whale Tail Art has many messages, one being to create awareness about the impact of plastic pollution on whales. To find out more about their project go to www.muizenbergjs.wcape.school.za or www.awhaleofaheritageroute.co.za.co.za
To follow the travels of the Oceangybe crew,go to http://www.oceangybe.com/