Vodacom Beach clean up campaign signs off with success
The Vodacom Beach Clean Up campaign, now in its sixth year of action, drew to a close on Friday 7 January. Having kicked off on 15 December 2010, 190 previously unemployed people worked with local municipalities to keep 22 of South Africa's most popular beaches litter-free.
The Vodacom Beach Clean Up campaign was active for 23 days, during which a total of 34 507 bags of litter were collected. In Kwa-Zulu Natal 18 186 bags were collected from eight beaches; in the Eastern Cape 8 016 bags were collected from eight beaches and 8 214 bags were collected off six Southern and Western Cape beaches.
Keeping large amounts of rubbish out of the ocean is obviously crucial; however, in addition to this, the Vodacom Beach Clean Up campaign aims to promote environmental awareness around littering so that bag numbers might drop over the course of time.
"While we are very pleased with the hard work of our cleaners during the holiday period and the success of the Vodacom Beach Clean Up campaign along South Africa's coastline, we hope to highlight to the public the importance of practising clean beach habits throughout the year" said Suraya Hamdulay, Executive Head of Vodacom Corporate Citizenship.
A major part of the success of the campaign is attributed to the people who make up the ‘on the ground' cleaning force. With 190 previously unemployed people working for Vodacom over this period, these are valuable jobs for individuals who are committed to working hard. The work is not easy and requires long hours in difficult weather conditions making teamwork and open communication key elements to the smooth running of daily operations.
The partnership between Vodacom and local municipalities is an extension of the ethos of teamwork. Supplementing the municipal services that are in demand by beachgoers during the holiday period is a primary aim of the Vodacom Beach Clean Up campaign, and municipal employees in turn support the Vodacom cleaners in their new work environments.
It was also very encouraging to note the positive commentary from beachgoers extended to the Vodacom Beach Clean Up campaign cleaners. "Recognition of the importance of litter reduction suggests a growing awareness among the public, and Vodacom is thankful to beachgoers for supporting the Vodacom cleaners in their work" said Hamdulay.
On top of promoting environmentally responsible beach habits, the Vodacom Beach Clean Up campaign stands by the broader message of ‘reduce, re-use and recycle'. Using resources less wastefully, re-using the products we buy i.e. plastic containers, and making concerted recycling efforts are all manageable ways in which the public can contribute to the health of our planet and oceans in the long term.
The 2010/2011 Vodacom Beach Clean Up campaign has run smoothly to its close, and the benefits of the campaign were noted at all 22 selected beaches. The successful partnership with local municipalities and the commitment of Vodacom cleaners have set high standards to follow in the upcoming year.
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