A range of innovative solutions to the global crisis of plastics in our oceans were discussed by a host of international and local speakers at the first ever Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit ever to be held in Cape Town.
The landmark two-day summit, a celebration of the inspired people and organisations that have forged workable solutions to the issue, saw event orgsaniser WorldSport commit to adopting sustainable event practices on all their events going forward – using the success of the Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town stopover as a benchmark.
And the V&A Waterfront CEO David Green announced that the company, which welcomes 24 million visitors per year to the premium shopping centre at the heart of the city, is set to ban plastic bags and bottles from the V&A precinct.
Key decision makers and influencers, including Bluewater founder Bengt Rittri, WWF’s John Duncan and Volvo Ocean Race skippers Vestas 11th Hour Racing’s Charlie Enright and Turn the Tide on Plastic’s Dee Caffari all gave their own personal insight on the plastic crisis facing our oceans.
Anne-Cecile Turner, Sustainability Programme Leader at the Volvo Ocean Race, said: “A vast wealth of national and international experience came together in Cape Town to share their innovative approaches to help address the impact plastics are having on the health of our oceans.
“The fact that the V&A Waterfront have committed to phase out plastic bags and bottles from the precinct and WorldSport’s announcement illustrate the inspired sustainability leadership in South Africa."
Delegates also heard how millions of tiny particles of plastic have been found in European waters in groundbreaking scientific research. The scientific research, using data collected by race team ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’, identified over three million micro plastic particles per square kilometre of ocean.
Whilst in Cape Town, members of Vestas 11th Hour Racing gave a $10,000 grant to EMG, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to protect the natural environment and resources by promoting fair trade farming, sustainable rural development and solutions to the impacts of climate change in the region, including equitable access to water and social justice.