The Cape Whale Coast is a place you can go to a municipality meeting, and the entire audience is wearing puffer vests, woollen pullovers and ugg boots.

That’s because, this is a place of the sea, and we are extremely proud of our home and its animal inhabitants and want to protect it.

Over 200 locals, government officials and tourism workers attended a talk by Dr Jenna Jambeck,  an Associate Professor at the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. She specialises in global waste management issues and plastic contamination.

Her work on plastic waste inputs into the ocean has been widely recognised by the global community and translated into policy discussions by the Global Ocean Commission, in testimony to U.S. Congress, G7, G20, and the United Nations’ Environment program.

Removing the trash that is in the oceans without addressing the waste management practices that put it there is “like mopping the floor when your bathtub is overflowing and the tap’s still on,” Jambeck said. Her work in waste management is an attempt to turn off the tap.

The event was hosted by Overstrand Municipality’s Environmental Department, in collaboration with Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot (CWCHS) and Sustainable Seas Trust (SST).

“The shocking impact of plastic pollution in our oceans is far-reaching, with serious consequences for marine habitats, biodiversity, human health and the global economy, “said Jenna.

“Most plastic is used once and thrown away. So let’s change our habits:  say no to single-use plastic bags, beverage bottles and bottle tops, food wrappers and straws – and make sure you bin your cigarette butts, she said!