DURBAN: SOFT drink giant Coca Cola’s thirst to recycle every soft drink bottle it sells around the world by 2030 gained momentum in Durban on Saturday.

Coca Cola has teamed up with its bottling partners Plastics SA and embarked on numerous clean-up projects around the country. On Saturday, mop-up operations were done at the Beachwood Nature Reserve in Durban North and beaches in the city.

Their initiative coincided with International Coastal Cleanup Day (Saturday) and Clean-up and Recycle Week, which ran from September 10 to 15.

Refilwe Mofokeng, the founder of the Refilwe Mofokeng Foundation, was among many volunteers cleaning Durban’s beaches.

Mofokeng, who is studying towards her PhD in marine biology and specialising in marine toxicology, said the outing was a success.

“We had good support from the public and children from Boys and Girls Town in Verulam.

“We collected a lot of litter, and the low tide enabled us to work in the intertidal zone,” said Mofokeng.

Fed-up with complaining about the dirty environment, especially the oceans, is what got Mofokeng to start her foundation.

“We rely on the support of various organisations to run awareness programmes, mainly at schools,” she said.

The International Coastal Cleanup project began over 30 years ago by the Ocean Conservancy organisation and has since mobilised millions of volunteers to clean oceans and waterways. Coca-Cola has supported this campaign since 1995. It’s backing also extended to the educational outreaches, community engagements and research efforts linked to the project. Last year, Plastics SA coordinated over 400 clean-ups throughout South Africa and it drew over 16000 volunteers.

Through Plastics SA’s efforts in 2017, more than 2.15 billion plastic bottles were recycled.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE