I MANAGE to drag myself out of bed on most days for a morning walk. Part of the route is what I consider one of the most beautiful walkways in Port Alfred, West Beach Drive.
It’s during these walks where I marvel at the indigenous bush and flowers growing in the dunes alongside the pristine beaches, and the beautiful homes that line the opposite end of the road.
On this walk I also pass one of Port Alfred’s gems, the blue flag beach, Kelly’s Beach. The road is bumpy in sections with a few holes here and there but this I don’t mind.
What I do mind very much is the litter, the litter which grows faster than the trees, and that’s more invasive than any of the aliens currently overgrowing Ndlambe.
How can you call yourself beach -and environment – proud Port Alfred if you keep looking the other way?
I pass so many people during these mornings that politely smile and greet, but then who also ogle the plastic flowers decorating the dune. None of them stick their hands into the bush and help extract the poison.
Ironically, the area that is particularly bad is the section between Middle Beach (half way) and Kelly’s Beach. In this section of approximately 350m I pick up between 30-50 pieces of plastic, tin or glass every day (as much as my child’s pram’s undercarriage can hold). Somehow the litter manages to replenish itself over night. I have stopped bothering with the papers and rest of the rubbish as they will at least eventually succumb to nothing, and I have stopped tending to the verges and flower beds of the home owners.
Further along at Shelly’s Beach, the parking lot area is often a mess. People dump their rubbish there, scavengers rip the bags open, litter blows everywhere and we all just ogle and keep walking.
I appreciate the municipality’s efforts to try and ignite a bit of environmental consciousness with the recycling depot at Kelly’s Beach, but frankly these bins should be at every beach parking area and “stop-off” point.
I appeal to people to recycle as far as possible, or reuse and refuse. I ask the home owners who enjoy the beautiful views to look around their homes and remove the ugly litter that decorate their gardens, their neighbors garden’s and the beach vegetation. I understand that it might not be yours, or that dogs ripped up the bin bags, or some other mysterious being tossed it there, but in the meantime, we all need to work together and stick our hands in the bush.
I was properly peeved today when I learned of an incident involving a cat and this same litter I see everywhere.
Port Alfred SPCA created a Facebook post with photographs of a cat whose head got stuck in a plastic cup, and detailed how long they had been searching for the cat that lived in the Oriole Road, and West Beach Drive area.
” Due to our neglect by not saying no to plastic and not recycling, a cat suffered a horrible fait by means of not being able to eat or drink for almost two weeks and at the end of it all the suffering had to be etherised because we could not help it anymore. This is but one incident of animals suffering due to plastic pollution”.
The SPCA urges residents to say start saying something about it and not wait for Government to act.
“Say no to plastic, and if you have to use it, recycle it! Change starts with you! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” the post read.