Deli to Sea: Ocean Awareness Run

By Danel Wentzel, 20th November 2021

It is estimated that every year nearly 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans. That is the equivalent of a full garbage truckload of trash being dumped into the oceans every minute. By the year 2050, scientists predict that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. Plastic pollution is a huge problem that not only affects the health of our oceans but also our entire planet. Plastics entangle and suffocate sea life, they break down and enter the marine food web at all levels, emitting greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

The plastic problem on our beaches. Photo © Larina Marina | Shutterstock

When it comes to protecting our oceans we know that everyone wants to do their bit to turn the tide on marine pollution. And that’s exactly what our runners did this past weekend.

On Sunday, 14 November, over 300 participants set out to run 15km for ocean awareness. Runners met up at the Chardonnay Deli for the start of the Deli to Sea run and finished across the road from the Shark Centre in Kalk Bay.

Runners gearing up at the Chardonnay Deli. Photo © The Good Machine

At 7 am sharp the sound of echoing kelp trumpets marked the start of the run where participants had the opportunity to take in a scenic view of the incredible South Peninsula along the way.  From the magnificent trees in the Tokai forest to the incredible mountains hugging Boyes Drive, we are truly lucky to have had such a spectacular venue for our event.

The beautiful scenery of Boyes Drive. Photo © The Good Machine

At 7.45 am our first runner crossed the finish line at Dalebrook in Kalk Bay. Here we set up a whole morning of festivities for our runners and their supporters. Dalebrook Café hosted a fuelling station with delicious pastries, bagels, and fresh fruit as well as some bubbly from Steenberg Farm. Activities on the day included a beach clean-up hosted by The Beach Co-op, a live mural painting by Claire from CareCreative as well as an interactive shark education station run by our very own Shark Education Centre crew.

Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Education Centre pop-up. Photo © Nic Good

The inspiration for this event was the need to raise awareness surrounding plastic pollution and waste-free living. Professor Peter Ryan, advisor to the Beach Co-op, and his team found 418 coffee cup lids amongst other plastics in 23 beach clean-ups around the Dalebrook tidal pool. Shocking isn’t it?

The Beach Co-op crew standing in front of the new Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Education Centre mural. Photo © The Good Machine

The next time you want to order your vanilla latte to go, consider this fact: We use an estimated 16 billion disposable coffee cups each year. Single-use cups are often made with hard-to-recycle materials like Styrofoam, polyethylene, or polypropylene that are sent straight to landfill.

Polystyrene products, including Styrofoam, might be a good go-to choice for your coffee as they are inexpensive and retain heat, but did you know that these products are made from synthetic plastics that take more than a million years to decompose in landfills. Paper cups are no better. On its own, paper cannot hold liquids. Baristas pour coffee into cups lined with polyethylene, a plastic that functions as a moisture barrier.

Some of our fin-tastic runners showing off their reusable coffee cups. Photo © Nic Good

At this stage, you’re probably wondering what you can do to avoid all this unnecessary plastic without giving up your daily caffeine fix. Here are some of our best tips that will help you play a vital role in turning the tide against marine pollution:

* Bring your reusable mug. This is a great way of avoiding takeaway cups altogether! What’s better is if you use leak-proof cups, like these incredible cups donated by the Save Our Seas Foundation for our Deli to Sea run.

* Avoid unnecessary lids and straws. Think about it, do you need to take a plastic lid every single time?
* Avoid disposable stirrers – simply ask for a spoon.
* Support single-use plastic and styrofoam bans.

We would also love to hear your feedback! Let us know how you enjoyed the run and if there is anything that you will be doing from now on to reduce marine litter and help us keep our oceans happy and healthy.