Recycling has come up against a number of problems, but a significant one is what to do with dirt, wet plastic which can’t be recycled.
South Africa’s rivers are inundated with plastic pollution, especially those which run along major cities or next to highways. A few South African NGO’s are coming up with ways to deal with this dirty plastics which are clogging the rivers and killing animals, plants and fish.
According to a WWF 2016 report, the majority of South Africa’s wetland and river ecosystem types are threatened.
One such project involved taking the waste from the river and up-cycling it into pavements and walkways in the Durban area.
Non-recyclable plastic collected from the Umgeni River in KwaZulu-Natal has been effectively captured but would end up in landfills unless another solution was found.
According to Green Corridors, a social-purpose and impact-focused organisation, this is the proposed solution for all the wet, dirty plastic waste collected in the river’s litter booms.
The KwaMashu Waste Beneficiation Centre will spearhead the project and plans to mix the dirty waste with crushed glass to create pacing blocks which can be used for walkways and landscaping.
The litter booms that collect the waste were installed by a member of the Dusi Umgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT), an organisation that champions the environmental health of the uMngeni and uMsunduzi Rivers.
Image: Green Corridors/ Twitter