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Litterboom Project & WIldlands come to the rescue

Corona x Parley visit the Litterbooms- SABC November 2018
ZIGZAG Documents the booms!


  • 8 NOVEMBER, 2018


The cross-country Corona Coastal Cleanup Tour headed up by Frank Solomon, has officially kicked off. The trip stretching from Durban to Cape Town, will see Frank visit various NGO’s, marine biologists, shark specialists and other local experts, all fighting for the longevity of our oceans. These local experts aim to highlight the shocking effects of how marine pollution is affecting our coastline’s natural beauty. 

Day one saw Frank meet up with Cam Service from MyTrails an initiative that focusses on a litter catchment system to collect rubbish along three rivers in Durban, with the principal setup along the Umgeni river. 

Following a conversation and site visit with Cam, Frank with help from the Durban Green Corridor and volunteers from the neighbouring community rolled up their sleeves and got elbow deep in cleaning up the spewed up synthetic guts of the Umgeni river. Although a monumental effort was made on the day, the amount of plastic still left along the banks was enough to make a grown man cry, serving as a testament to the fact that the problem is by far an easy fix.  

Unbeknownst to many, the Umgeni is the most polluted river in the country and without projects such as the Litterboom and the selfless act of cleaning up after someone else, the amount of plastic that would make its way out to sea would be far worse. Every bit of plastic plucked from the natural environment and discarded appropriately, goes a long way in making a difference both on a short term and long term scale.  

Initiated in 2017, the Umgeni Litterboom Project- ULP- is geared toward alleviating the pressure placed on the waterway by stemming the flow of rubbish flowing through the river system.       


Multiple variables contribute to the issue, and in response, the project aims to adopt a comprehensive strategy to better deal with the growing concern of plastics.

Presently, the project is working on improving the current model and the overall effectiveness of the system, by way of catching plastic bags that are able to escape the “litterbooms” as they pass below the surface within the water column. As it stands or floats rather, the system is effective in trapping a large amount of surface debris as it is washed down the Umgeni. 

The biggest challenge facing the Litterboom Project is funding, with permanent staff a close second as it currently operates on a rather small scale. The project is by no means a solution to the greater issue of marine plastic but it certainly holds promise as an effective short to mid-term ‘band-aid’.

Cape Times Acknowledges The Litterboom Project

Cape Town – Big wave surfer Frank Solomon’s mission with Corona, a Mexican beer and a worldwide trademark to tackle the marine plastic pollution, ended with a beach clean-up at Milnerton.

The mission saw Solomon travel from Durban to Cape Town this month to educate communities and drive awareness around eco-innovation to clean the beaches and protect the oceans along South Africa’s coastline. The tour included Jeffreys Bay, Umkomaas, Wilderness and Gansbaai before ending in Cape Town.

Solomon visited NGOs, marine biologists, shark specialists and others fighting for the country’s oceans.

“A big problem is public awareness. People are often overwhelmed by the problem, but if every one of us takes responsibility, by even picking up one piece of litter a day, every day, just think about the difference it would make,” said Solomon.

Solomon began his tour on November 7 in KZN, where he met up with Cameron Service from the Umgeni Litterboom Project to discuss a litter catchment system designed to collect rubbish in the rivers of Durban (uMhlanga, uMngeni and the Durban harbour) before reaching the ocean.

Solomon visited one of the rivers with Cameron where they conducted an organised riverbed clean-up with the local community.

Sifiso Pule, Corona marketing manager, said: “This is a cause that we’re extremely passionate about. Corona is a brand that celebrates a life lived outdoors and calls the beach and the oceans home, and it is committed to protecting its homeland.”

On the second leg of the tour, Solomon was joined by former competitive South African pool swimmer Sarah Ferguson.

Ferguson, an environmental activist on a mission to highlight the issue of marine plastic pollution, made headlines when she completed a 100km open ocean adventure earlier this year, from Ponta Dobela in Mozambique to Sodwana Bay in just six days.

“It is not too late, but if we do not change our behaviour today, the next generation may not have the privilege of encountering marine life like I have been blessed to encounter,” she said.

The Corona Coastal Clean-up then moved on to J-Bay, after a two-day retreat at Mdumbi Backpackers in Mdumbi, Transkei, where Solomon explored the topic of eco-tourism and sustainably-sourced seafood, with two of the shareholders.

Solomon recalled his experience: “For a community that is so closely connected with the natural world around them, the state of the environment is critical to their way of life. 

"Whether it be for commercial or subsistence-based needs, the ocean provides a bounty for us all, as long as it is respected and protected.

“Even here, the scourge of plastic infiltrates the seemingly pristine landscape, littering the shore and surrounding communities.”

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