We are keen to hear about initiatives that are being planned by various departments, and the role business organizations are involved in and benefiting from.
It seems hopeless… dealing with the symptoms at the beach while pollution fills the land, wetlands, streams, rivers, estuaries, the beach and the ocean with waste plastic and untold environmental damage is taking place, unabated.
What happened to our Constitution rights to a clean and healthy environment; and waste and environmental legislation?
The National Environmental Management Act (NIMA) advocates sustainable development, and states that, “waste should be avoided, or where it cannot be altogether avoided, minimised and re-used or recycled where possible and otherwise disposed of in a responsible manner”.
“It makes financial business sense to produce without being responsible “avoid” or “prevention” is ignored: and we are collectively trashing the world”.
“Under the banner of ‘economic and social benefits’ the negative environmental impacts are conveniently ignored: short term benefits, long term destruction”.
The Environmental Management Act (Act 107 0f 1998) requires that everyone who has caused or may cause significant pollution or degradation of the environment must take reasonable measures to prevent and remediate that pollution.
The Fundamental Principles of Waste Management are:
The “Duty of care” principal stipulates that any person handling or managing hazardous substances or related equipment is ethnically responsible for applying the most care.
The “Proximity principle” requires the treatment and disposal of waste takes place as near as possible to the point of production and environmentally possible.
The “Precautionary principle” requires that when an activity raises threats or harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some course and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.
The “Polluter pays principle,” stipulates that all waste producers are legally and financially responsible for Safe and environmentally sound disposal and creating an incentive to produce less.
The “Cradle to grave principle” stipulates that it is the generator who is responsible for the management of Waste from its inception until his final disposal The generator will be held legally responsible for personal injury or damage to the environment caused by the waste. The generator must therefore ensure that the waste is properly managed and disposed.
Promulgated by the National Water Act No. 36.1998,
Offenders could face a fine or imprisonment, which increases progressively for repeated offenders with maximum fines of R100 000, R200 000 and five years or 10 years imprisonment for the first and second time offenders, respectively.
Once the individuals and businesses that produce plastic have placed a refunded deposit everyone will be motivated to collect and return every scrap for reuse.
Besides holding the producers of plastics accountable, Lee D’Eathe, who activated Palmiet River Watch in May 2013, says that individuals and businesses that pollute the storm water system, streams and rivers have no excuse for not knowing that this is illegal and has serious consequences for the environment, and future generations.
“Instead of travelling for beach clean-ups, let’s do local clean-ups, to stop the waste at source; and the local authorities have undertaken to support work parties and clean-ups, with bags and extra waste removal”.
“Every resident, business owner and worker within the catchment basin should know that only pure rain-water may enter the storm water system. Detergents, bath and wash-up water, food stuff, sewage, oil, acids and other waste must be disposed elsewhere, responsibly and legally. Don’t be a polluter!!!”
“Along with other unacceptable practices, disposing of waste into streams, rivers and storm-water drains is far too common, and undesirable: imagine if everyone did that!
Lee D’Eathe ~ The Palmiet River Watch
Business Unusual “Doing the impossible every day”