Published in Herald Live on September 24, 2017 by Shaun Gillham
Plastic is not fantastic – particularly when it ends up in our oceans.
This is the message “plastic protester” Diony Lalieu, 42, will be bringing to Port Elizabeth this weekend.
She will be highlighting the significant environmental impact discarded plastics have on the seas at the 2017 Cobbles Classic surfing event and Cape Recife Music Festival.
Cape Town-based surfer Lalieu, a former Port Elizabethan, is in the city to create awareness around the problems non-bio-degradable plastics create for oceans and marine life.
She will be doing this by promoting the first plastic-free surf competition, at the Cobbles Classic, to be staged in the Bay.
Lalieu is the founder and owner of Surfer’s Pledge – which is the platform she uses to protest against plastics and mount anti-plastic campaigns.
“The ocean connects everyone and plastics in the ocean is a global problem,” she said.
“Surfers in particular and in fact all ocean lovers should be taking a stand against plastics in our seas.
“This will be the first time we are bringing this concept and campaign to Port Elizabeth, so it’s ground zero for us and just the beginning of starting to create awareness around plastics locally,” Lalieu said ahead of her public talk around plastics at Pine Lodge at Cape Recife Friday night.
She said while her campaign was focused on the actual surf contest and not the accompanying music festival, plans were in the pipeline to introduce the anti-plastics campaign into future music festivals associated with the surfing contest.
“Practically, the campaign aims to discourage the introduction of any plastics into the environment at the contest venue. Judges, for example, have been encouraged to bring their own water bottles, and metal bottles or reusable bottles will be preferable. The same applies to contestants and spectators, who should not bring any plastics, unless reusable plastics, onto the site.”
Lalieu said this applied to any food or other plastic packaging.
Hosted by the Loggers Union, which comprises Bay single-fin, longboard surfers, and now in its fifth year, the Cobbles Classic will be contested at Cobbles Point in the Cape Recife Reserve between Saturday and Monday.