Clean-ups along more than 3km of Durban’s beachfront were the focal point for Tsogo Sun and environment partner Miss Earth SA on World Oceans Day on 8 June, in response to the harsh reality that an estimated 6.4 million tons of litter enters the oceans every year – and 80% comes from land, according to Miss Earth SA’s Ella Bella Leite.
The clean-ups began at two Tsogo Sun properties: Garden Court South Beach in the south and Suncoast Casino precinct in the north, and met up at Tsogo Sun’s Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Hotel. The gathering, comprising Miss Earth SA regional semi-finalists and Tsogo Sun Volunteers from the group’s Durban properties joined together to raise awareness about the devastation caused by the pollution of our oceans, and in particular plastic pollution.
World Oceans Day has been recognised by the UN since 2008 and is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. About Tsogo Sun’s involvement, the Group’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Candy Tothill explains: “As part of Tsogo Sun Environment within our Citizenship portfolio, our Durban beachfront clean-up represents the group’s official activation for this important day on our environmental awareness calendar. The overall theme for World Oceans Day 2017 is “Our Oceans, Our Future” and the conservation action focus is “encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future”. Our activation on this occasion was therefore aligned with these – and harnessed the collective commitment of our caring people through the Tsogo Sun Volunteers to demonstrate this.”
Miss Earth’s Ella Bella Leite says, “Miss Earth and our partner Tsogo Sun last year launched the #WasteStopsWithMe campaign, which draws attention to the way that citizens waste – which includes rubbish waste as well as the flagrant wasting of water, energy and food. Our clean-ups form part of this over-arching campaign.”
Miss Earth South Africa is a leadership programme that empowers young women with knowledge and a platform to make a sustainable difference in combatting the destruction of the country’s natural heritage, while creating awareness of sustainable development, and the environment, wildlife and conservation of South Africa’s natural legacy. Miss Earth engages with and educates a new group of young, dynamic and influential women each year, involving them in waste projects and community mobilisations, and encouraging them to play their role in recycling, reducing, reusing, and rethinking.
“Essentially we have one global ocean that connects us all around the world. Tsogo Sun and Miss Earth are committed to providing education about environmental issues to young South Africans and encouraging communities to adopt a responsible attitude towards the environment. By going out on World Oceans Day and cleaning up the Durban beaches we practised what we preach – and hopefully inspired the public to adopt the #WasteStopsWithMe approach,” concludes Tsogo Sun’s Candy Tothill.