In 2019, a new annual award was created – the Caroline Reid Award for Clean-Up Champion of the Year. This award aimed to recognise and reward excellence in South Africa by an individual in the field of waterways and marine and coastal clean-ups.
Caroline Reid was an ocean conservation warrior who sadly passed away in 2018. Caroline coordinated hundreds of beach and diving clean-ups and was central to the work done in the Durban harbour in 2017 when nurdles leaked out of containers. She worked tirelessly to increase the awareness of plastics pollution on the KwaZulu-Natal Coastline.
In July 2023, Plastics SA proudly announced the winners of the Annual Caroline Reid Award 2023, recognizing their long-standing commitment and support to Cleanup and Recycling activities. Corporate recipients included notable organizations such as the Department of Fisheries, Forestry, and Environment, Pick n Pay, PETCO, Coca-Cola, POLYCO PRO NPC, SAVA, Sasol, Tuffy, PAMSA, The Glass Recycling Company, Packaging SA, Kelpak, The Dow Chemical Company, and Safripol.
Several dedicated community groups were also acknowledged for their exceptional contributions to environmental preservation and community engagement. The recognized community groups are Alexandra Water Warriors, Kwalata Game Reserve, Helderberg Ocean Awareness, Lovemore Foundation, Soulbent Project, Mosselbank River Conservation Team, David Beckett, Benjamin Kriel, Green School Cape Town, Shark Spotters, and Friends of the Liesbeeck.
Cleanup & Recycle SA Week 2023 serves as a testament to the power of collective action and community engagement. Clean City SA and Plastics SA are proud to spearhead initiatives such as the Mandela Day event, propelling South Africa towards a greener and more sustainable future whilst playing our part in improving the lives of others at the same time.
We want to inspire communities to keep up the good work of keeping their neighbourhoods clean. Everyone can make a difference every day by picking up trash and recycling, and we would like to thank everyone who participated.
Water Week, which took place between 20 and 26 March 2022, seemed the ideal time to acknowledge the unsung heroes for 2022, in communities around South Africa, who tirelessly protect the environment and make a difference in the quality of community life.
They do it to create awareness of the plight of many of our waterways and oceans that are being affected by litter originating inland.
THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to the 2022 Caroline Reid Awards:
- Sulandi van den Heever has taken it upon herself to coordinate the clean-ups in the Lambert’s Bay area for the last decade. Sulandi is a true West Coaster that just cannot stand back and see the town and surrounding areas ruined by littering, dumping and poor waste management. In this sparsely populated area, she has proven to be integral in ensuring that clean-ups take place.
- GEESE, and in particular Cilla Bromley, has been pivotal in organising clean-ups in the Glencairn and Simon’s Town areas, for more than a decade. Cilla and her small band of dedicated volunteers have made this region a place to be proud of and we acknowledge her and the organisation’s commitment to a better world.
- The Izame Zabantu Nature Helpers is a new group within this field and they are dedicated to removing the pollution that flows via the Black River, into the canals in Paarden Island in Cape Town. They have shown that a small group can make a huge difference. Every weekend they can be seen cleaning amongst the bollards on the outer Cape Town harbour wall and the number of bags filled with waste adds up to tens of thousands. This team has taken on a thankless job, in an area that could be dangerous to work, and made the world difference in the short time that they have been doing it.
- The Birdwatching fraternity are dedicated supporters of clean-up events and projects, in particular the Birdlife South Africa branch in the Overberg, under the auspices of Dr. Anton Odendal. They have taken on possibly some of the most sensitive clean-up actions on the coast as they realise that it is a shared responsibility with the local authorities, to clean the environment so that it can be a safer place for all that live in it.
- The Lower Breede River Conservation Trust,based in Witsand, is very proactive in keeping one of the largest rivers in the Western Cape managed and policed in conjunction with provincial and local authorities. This responsibility includes monthly clean-ups. They were also very involved with clean-ups of the last pellet spill that ended up on our beaches.
- Illegal dumping has several negative outcomes including soil, water and air pollution. It is for this reason that Luka Mashudu Makhado created the Soulbent Project focusing on garden services and recycling. Luka and his team are dedicated to cleaning Gauteng, one illegal dump at a time, although some days they clean 3 in a day. Luka now advertises the services for in the hope that communities will start addressing illegal dumping and manage their waste and recycling more efficiently.
- Safripol has been a supporter of PlasticsSA’s Clean-up and Recycle Week for the past 10 years. They have pledged their commitment to Operation Clean Sweep by putting mechanisms in place aimed at keeping plastic resin out of the environment and ensuring that plastic remains a resource in the materials loop. They sponsor the Durban Green Corridor Clean-ups and litterbooms on the Umgeni River, promoting recycling and education in terms of keeping litter out of the environment
- Through CityZen, Najen Naidoo has been helping communities of Rivonia, Gallo Manor, Morningside, Bryanston, Kramerville, Wendywood and Woodmead in fighting neighbourhood deterioration and economic depression. With the help of volunteers and other partners, this has been achieved by creating greener, clean and safe areas, one clean-up at a time. Najen inspires active community participation on reducing littering and turning the waste picked up during clean-up campaigns into sustainable job opportunities through recycling and upcycling programmes.
- Lead by Dalu Cele, Clean City SA unites the citizens of Johannesburg in working together towards restoring the city by conducting sustainable clean up campaigns every Saturday morning. Focusing on Hillbrow, the team has to date collected over 6000 refuse bags keeping the streets and open spaces of Hillbrow clean. Dalu is passionate about making real change in the lives of the residents and the environment. He works to encourage all involved stakeholders to educate communities about the effects of littering on the environment and human health
- Tri Eco Tours: Siphiwe Rakgabale is the clean-ups and litter booms coordinator at Durban Green Corridors, managing the Umgeni and Uhlanga litterbooms. He ensures that waste collected from these litterbooms, is removed and sorted for recycling. Siphiwe’s passion lies in clean neighbourhoods, increased social cohesion, self-employment and the development of community skills.
- Durban Green Corridors supports clean-ups and litterbooms in the Umgeni River area. Together with the local communities, the private and public sectors, they co-create open green spaces within the city of Durban, and promote community green deeds that ensure good health and welfare of their natural surroundings.
- Eco Care Trust, through regular operations to many dams and rivers as well as reports from their volunteers throughout South Africa, gather valuable information on the aquatic state of our freshwater eco-systems. Bernard Venter, a keen angler and supporter of Clean-up and Recycle Clean-ups, distributes litterbags, provided by PlasticsSA, to visitors at dams, rivers and angling competitions to educate people on the effects of litter on the waterways.