10 November, 2015:
DPI Plastics has stepped up to the plate in helping to preserve South Africa’s marine heritage by sponsoring a major sustainability initiative promoted by Plastics SA.
The international plastics industry made a commitment during the 5th Marine Debris Conference in 2011 to focus on the issue of plastic waste within the marine environment.
“The issue of marine debris forms a major part of our portfolio, and includes raising awareness, research and as, in this case, actions to combat the issue,” comments John Kieser, sustainability manager at Plastics SA.
Monofilament line, although not in the top ten marine debris items found in South Africa, is of great concern due to the large number of animals that become entangled in it on a yearly basis, leading to a painful death in the majority of cases.
“DPI Plastics has been involved with this project for a number of years,” adds Martine Goodchild, marketing manager at DPI Plastics. The manufacturer has donated the material to manufacture hundreds of bins for the fishing line bin project in the Western Cape.
“We supply the pipes and fittings to make these repositories, which are placed at angling hotspots around the country for fishermen to discard their line and hooks, and thereby keep them out of the seas and rivers and away from our wildlife.”
The initiative is based on similar projects in the United States and Australia. It was launched by the Dyer Island Trust in Gans Bay by founder Wilfred Chivell, initially focusing in and around the beach areas at Gans Bay itself.
Plastics SA joined the project in 2010, with the aim to expand it to a national level within five years. “We realised quickly that we do not even remotely have the budget to take the project to its desired level,” Kieser comments.
“Therefore we approached the South African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers’ Association (SAPPMA), and DPI Plastics stepped up with an initial cash sponsorship, as well as the material for making the bins,” Kieser highlights.
The line that is collected is ultimately recycled. “We take the line to a fish line manufacturer that converts it into virgin nylon in the making of Weedeater gut. We are now expanding into KwaZulu-Natal with the bins, but would also like to have a greater impact in the inland waterways, as well as where fishing occurs.”
Goodchild urges other manufacturers and companies to become involved in such ‘green’ initiatives, as Plastics SA is constantly in need of funding. Kieser points out that the success of the initiative to date can be seen in the decrease of line waste in angling ‘hotspots’ where such bins are located.
“Where the real success lies is in the quantity of material retrieved from the various sites, which is substantial, especially from those popular angling spots. The raising of awareness of the impact of discarded material has also focused attention on the issue.
“The increase in requests from local authorities, fishing clubs, environmental agencies and concerned individuals is also a great indicator of the success, as well as the interaction and reports from all the various locations over a certain period,” Kieser concludes.
About DPI Plastics
DPI Plastics is a leading manufacturer of PVC and HDPE water reticulation and drainage pipe and fitting systems, with two ISO 9001 certified South African factories, one in Johannesburg and the other in Cape Town. In addition, the DPI Group has wholly-owned subsidiary plants in Namibia and Botswana and joint venture manufacturing operations in Mauritius, Tanzania and Angola, producing plastic pipes to the relevant SABS or international specifications.
DPI Plastics Contact
DPI Plastics Marketing Manager
Phone: (021) 957 5600
Fax: 086 505 6484