The Source to Sea approach aims to tackle the plastic pollution problem through an upstream, eco-system model.
We believe that whilst interception of plastic pollution in the environment is vital, there should be investment made into land based solutions as well.
These should include improved waste management systems, education and innovation. In order for this to be successful we believe in a co-ordination between Municipalities, private sector and of course plastic producers, in an effort to simultaneously reduce the volumes of single use plastic, create integrated waste management plans and identify sustainable financial models around the implementation of these activities.
CEO | Cameron Service
As the last line of defence, our River Wardens work tirelessly to ensure that ALL pollution that makes its way into our beautiful rivers and oceans is removed. They play an integral part in restoring these natural eco-systems back to their natural states.
A crucial first step of our plastic pollution prevention strategy is to work with reclaimers, who are the backbone of recycling in South Africa. Whilst we cannot recycle our way out of this problem, this offers an economic opportunity to individuals within informal settlements around South Africa. We will continue to put pressure on producers to increase these recycling streams, in order to divert more plastic from landfill sites.
Supporting these reclaimers has resulted in the prevention of already over 27 000 kilograms of plastic entering the rivers in 2022.
There are many aspects to educating the public about plastic waste, usage and sustainability.We have identified three key areas in this regard; educating the public with facts, educating the youth on protecting their ocean heritage and educating businesses and producers on how to best balance profit with sustainability.
We also believe strongly that education cannot be dissociated from infrastructure. We have therefore set ourselves the goal of also implementing tangible change wherever we educate communities. This is in order to ensure that some improvements are made to their disposal models, in order to ACT on the things that are taught to them. This is a shared responsibility by Municipalities too, who are still important in the end-game solution.
The quote, "you protect what you love" resonates with us and we hope to connect more people to the beauty around them, be it forests, rivers or oceans.
We are inspired by human innovation and how we have managed to fix so many existential problems through ingenuity and collaboration.
There is no silver bullet solution (yet) to resolving the plastic pollution crisis, however there are several ways we can alleviate the existing problem.
Finding ways to create products from the mountains of waste we collect (that outlast single-use application), is something we believe to be extremely beneficial to both the environment and the emerging entrepreneurs within the many communities we work together with.
Our Wastepreneur programme aims to train up entrepreneurs that focus on using plastic pollution from our rivers and oceans, to create products that increase the value of various streams of plastic. In many instances there is no recycling application for plastic and this allows our Wastepreneurs to establish value and create an economically viable way to support teams on the ground that collect non-recyclables.
It is not a perfect system (yet) and will need investment, expertise and time, but we have already had some early success with bulk product purchases for items that have been developed. This gives the Wastepreneurs the opportunity to create financial independence and a trickle down incentive for reclaimers and River Wardens within these communities.