Every year, 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans. There is a vast swathe of debris, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, scattered across the ocean in an area roughly the size of Texas – a fatal trap for any marine life unfortunate enough to stray near it. We are quite literally turning our beautiful, vibrant oceans into a rubbish dump, where nothing can survive.
Plettenberg Bay has recently been nominated, for the ninth time, as Africa’s Leading Beach Destination, but how will our beaches look and who will they attract if they are covered in plastic litter and our marine life is being strangled and poisoned by that same litter?
We were recently privileged and inspired to host Antonio Da Silva-Swart at Cornerway House. Antonio is an extreme hiker who focuses on raising awareness of marine debris and works tirelessly to keep our coastline clean and educate everyone, young and old, about the vital part that we play in keeping our oceans healthy and bringing them back from the brink of destruction.
Antonio visited us in Plettenberg Bay to conduct an extreme hike and marine debris awareness campaign along our coastline with Nature’s Valley Trust. His goal was to hike from the Harkerville lookout point, along the coastline to Plettenberg Bay, Salt River, Nature’s Valley and along the Otter Trail to Storms River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park – a total of 100km, done at an extreme pace.
Antonio was joined on the first part of his hike by volunteers and staff of Nature’s Valley Trust, before continuing alone at his gruelling pace. Working closely with CapeNature, Antonio collects what litter he can carry and reports any debris hotspots to authorities for larger clean-ups. Staying with us at Cornerway, we witnessed Antonio’s passion for his projects and how thoroughly his extreme hikes can exhaust even an athlete such as himself. We’re thrilled to report that much of the coastline that Antonio hiked was free of marine debris and both Plettenberg Bay and the Otter Trail received a good report of cleanliness after Antonio’s hike!
We were pleased to be able to send him off each morning with either an English breakfast or good filter coffee and rusks, and were thoroughly inspired to redouble our efforts to reduce waste and raise awareness of plastic pollution. Thank you for visiting us, Antonio – we hope to see you again soon!
HOW CAN WE HELP?