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TWO Isuzu bakkies were filled to the brim with at least half a ton of waste collected on Port Elizabeth's beach front between Pollock beach and Shark Rock Pier on Saturday.
Partnering with local conservation organisation Sustainable Seas Trust (SST), Isuzu Motors South Africa commemorated World Oceans Day by cleaning up these prime beaches.
According to Isuzu Motors South Africa Corporate Communications Manager Gishma Johnson, volunteers picked up 160 kgs of recyclable waste and 420 kgs of general waste in just two hours. "It was shocking to see the types of waste that our volunteers picked up," said Johnson.
Isuzu employees and their families formed part of the volunteer group. The company also supplied recycling waste containers to separate waste at the location. "We took all the waste collected on Saturday to our waste facility for further sorting and recycling," said Johnson.
While the Sustainable Seas Trust was the coordinator of the event, many partners were involved in Saturday's clean-up. The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) provided bags and gloves for volunteers, the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) supplied registration forms, and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Department of Water and Sanitation provided a sound system and mascots to add to the morning's fun and festivities.
Other corporates who supported Saturday's beach clean-up included Pick 'n Pay, who donated re-usable bags for the volunteers, Something Good Roadhouse who provided the location for stalls and a power outlet, as well as Coca Cola Beverages who provided beverages for the thirsty volunteers on the day.
Isuzu, as an environmentally conscious manufacturer, is committed to waste management programmes inside and outside of its production facilities. "We regard waste as a resource that is able to create secondary and tertiary employment. Approximately 30 people are based at our facilities from different recycling organisations while many others are employed at recycling companies across the city, creating furniture, plastic goods and polystyrene commodities," said Johnson.
World Oceans Day was celebrated around the world, with similar clean-up events hosted by a network of partners and organisations across the globe.