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An audit was carried out by Plastics|SA to identify the biggest pollutants on our beaches in 2017. Their audit was carried out through a massive clean-up of South Africa’s beaches, rivers and other water sources, where over 30 000 volunteers assisted in filling out datasheets of what they found.More than five tonnes of litter was removed over the course of these clean-ups. Plastics|SA then compiled and analysed the information where results revealed that single-use packaging items such as food wrappers, containers, bottle caps and lids continue to be the biggest pollutants contaminating our beaches and threatening marine life.This means that irresponsible human behaviour is still the root cause of the problem and needs to be urgently addressed in order to bring further awareness to the issue and to ultimately shift the behaviour.Through the ongoing commitment of Plastics|SA and organisations such as Ocean Conservancy, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the African Marine Waste Network and KZN Marine Network, more people are aware of the growing problem of marine debris.This has led to a vast increase in the amount of beach clean-ups initiated by local communities, schools and other volunteers.Plastics|SA represents all sectors of the South African Plastics Industry and has signed the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter. They are committed, along with other industry leaders, to getting the message out to be responsible in the disposal of waste and not to allow litter to end up in the ocean.It is the responsibility of each and every South African to get involved and get the word out to protect our marine life and keep our beaches clean.___Averda is a leading waste management provider with over 50 years of experience across three continents. Through growth, transformation and engagement, we strive to find new ways of managing waste while protecting the community and environment.___By pairing international expertise with local insights, we have secured our position as one of South Africa’s most respected providers of waste management and industrial cleaning services. We also operate in the recycling, infrastructure inspection, hydro-demolition, high-pressure water jetting and catalyst handling industries.___Follow us Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the best tips on recycling and the latest industry news. See our Instagram and YouTube channels for more insights into environmental affairs and our work with local communities.