In celebration of National Water Week this year, from 15 to 22 March, Plastics SA presented South Africa’s most committed and proactive eco-warriors with Caroline Reid Award certificates for 2021.
The Caroline Reid Award
Caroline Reid was an ocean conservation warrior who sadly passed away in 2018 after a tragic accident at the age of 42. She 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. Plastics SA launched the annual Caroline Reid Award in 2019 in memory of her tireless dedication to increasing the awareness of plastics pollution in our oceans and waterways. Alison Bryant of the Keep Plett Clean Campaign was the first winner of the Caroline Reid Award for the Clean-up Champion of the Year, which was announced during a gala dinner held at the Zeekoevlei Yacht Club in Cape Town in January last year.
“The Caroline Reid Award gives us the ideal opportunity to recognise and reward excellence in South Africa by an individual or group in the field of marine and coastal clean-ups. These eco warriors display an unwavering commitment to protecting our rivers and waterways and set an example and that makes a huge difference to the environment by creating awareness each step of the way,” says Douw Steyn, director of Substantiality at Plastics SA.
This year’s winners
Owing to COVID-19 which made the hosting of another gala prize giving event impossible, Plastics SA decided to visit this year’s winners at their places of work to present them with their awards. The following groups received the Caroline Reid Award in appreciation of their dedicated efforts:
• Adopt-a-River – An NPO that facilitates partnerships between corporate, government and community role players for the benefit of our waterways in South Africa (Durban).
• ARMOUR – An NPO that helps to restore the health of waterways (Gauteng).
• Cetric Foundation – An NPO that helps to clean up different areas in Johannesburg (Gauteng).
• Clean C – A group of enthusiastic people passionate about South Africa and its people in Cape Town.
• Clean Surf – An NPO that creates awareness to the devastating results of littering especially plastic and polystyrene products and the impact it has on our ocean life which affects us as human beings as well (Durban).
• Dyer Island Conservation Trust – An NPO that delivers unique conservation and research programmes in the fragile and critically important marine eco-system at the southern-most tip of Africa (Cape Town)
• Friends of the Liesbeek – An NPO that creates an awareness of the importance of the Liesbeek as a green corridor in an urban setting and to rehabilitate, enhance, and conserve it and its environs (Cape Town)
• Groot Brak River Conservancy – An NPO that promotes the conservation of their indigenous fauna and flora and preserves the natural beauty of Great Brak River (Cape Town).
• Helderberg Ocean Awareness Movement – A group of concerned locals who aim to eliminate beach litter (Cape Town).
• Help Up – A group that organises weekly clean-ups in the Black River in Mowbray (Cape Town).
• Hennops Revival – An NPO that cleans and maintains the Hennops River (Gauteng).
• Kromme Enviro Trust- An NPO that encourages and promotes environmental awareness in the Greater St Francis area (Eastern Cape).
• Live Life Always – An NPO group of litter collectors (Gauteng).
• Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs- a committed department that leads and facilitates integrated, comprehensive and sustainable development and social cohesion by participating and partnering with all sectors of society (Mpumalanga)
• Natures Valley Trust – A small community-driven NPO working at the cutting edge of integrated conservation in South Africa (Cape Town).
• Trapsuutjies – An NPO environment project in and around Oudtshoorn (Cape Town).
“We were blown away by the passion and dedication we have seen from this year’s winners. Despite facing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of funds and inadequate waste management infrastructure, each of these volunteer organisations have freely given of their time, energy and resources to make a tangible and lasting difference in our environment. In many cases they have also created much-needed employment opportunities and given their teams a sense of accomplishment and pride. We look forward to hosting another gala dinner next year (COVID-19 permitting) to give these eco-warriors the recognition they deserve for their valuable contributions to removing plastic litter from the environment,” Steyn concludes.