Litter nets catch waste from stormwater system along Sea Point coastline

19 Aug 2022 in Where We Govern

The City of Cape Town’s Coastal Management Branch, together with its partners Shark Spotters and Pristine Earth Collective, installed eight litter nets at stormwater outlets located in close proximity to beaches in Sea Point. The past week’s rainfall came in immediately after the nets were installed on Tuesday, 16 August 2022 and already the amount of litter caught, demonstrates that the stormwater systems do discharge significant amounts of waste.

The installation of the litter nets forms part of a trial project, which aims to reduce the amount of litter being discharged onto the beaches in Sea Point via the stormwater system. These nets have been installed between Graafs Pool and the Sea Point public swimming pool.

‘Our teams have been on site this week, clearing the nets after the rains and I was very encouraged to see that these nets have been very successful in trapping the very small pieces of litter as well. We hope that these litter nets will be a visual reminder and create awareness of the significant challenge that plastic and litter present. We will be collecting data on the quantity of rubbish removed from the nets and urge the public to please take note and refrain from dumping any plastic or objects into the stormwater system,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

The planning for the project commenced in 2021. The first net was installed at Graafs Pool in 2021; however the design required tweaking due to the damage caused by high seas.

The nets are closed at their ends with a rope. When the nets are full, the rope is untied to remove the litter. The cleaning will depend on rainfall events as the nets will need to be cleaned more frequently during winter.

Depending on the outcomes of this trial, the City and its partners may look to expand the project to other areas along the city’s coastline.

The project has also created some basic employment opportunities for the removal of the litter from the nets and adjacent beaches. The intention is to separate recyclables from non-recyclables in the litter nets, and to recycle wherever possible.