31 January, 2017 31 January, 2017

Making Recycling A Positive Lifestyle Change

The stats say that if things don’t change there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by the year 2050. On a regular basis we hear a surfer tuning about the litter in the water or what unusual, non-biodegradable object they saw on the beach, spat out by Poseidon’s gut. As surfers it is our duty to be a part of the change, hence our Tuffy Clean Your Beach Campaign

A Durban couple are a prime testament of surfers making a difference, Brad Weare and Wendy-Anne Smith. They decided to separate their trash and see how many bags of recyclable trash they would collect over a few months and already have over 20 bags of plastic ready for recycling.

Wendy-Anne Smith was inspired to share their story, check it our below!

More trash than fish my 2050? Not lekker… © Ewing


“Hi Zigzag

Here is our entry into the Tuffy Clean Your Beach competition. Wendy-Anne and I run our own surf company and surf school in Durban called Cloudnine Surf Co (www.cloudninesurf.co.za). The picture of the Tuffy bag was taken during a very hot day in December at Vetchies Becah, when the beach was packed. This is what we picked up in a 100m radius. 

We were inspired by the Tuffy competition, as well as work done by another brand in the States, to really look at our lifestyle and make some positive changes regarding recycling. We did an experiment as a family of three to see just how much recyclable material we could collect from our everyday food, beverages, household items, packaging etc that we consume. We stored every bag in our garage and as each month went by the wall of orange recyclable bags grew and grew.

We were shocked to see just how much stuff can be recycled and how much of it we were previously throwing away with our black bags. Wendy was inspired to write this post for our Facebook page, as she has been the main driving force behind this positive change we have made as a family and for our business. 

Best regards

Brad Weare “

Standing with their pile of recyclables. Image provided.

Recycling a positive lifestyle change – by Wendy-Anne Smith

There is a lot we consume as consumers and where packaging is concerned we don’t always have the choice as to what we want, need or desire comes in. It could be a brown paper bag, a plastic bag, a box or glass – you understand my point.

There are so many different forms of packaging and not all are of the same material. We have systems in place where paper, plastic and glass are are able to be recycled. Sometimes we have to personally take these materials to their necessary stations. Or better yet we are able to receive or purchase orange bags and collect all our paper, plastics and glass and put them in the orange bags, provided by the municipality, and put them alongside our black bags and they take it from there. Yup it is that easy.

We have all seen the recycling stations on the beach front or in streets ect, and I always try to put my packaging, whether paper or plastic in them. Funny enough in my home we don’t buy a lot of items that come in glass, yet this would be friendlier to the environment and should cost less, even being far more health savvy. Yet it costs so much. What I was saying was I try to always put my packaging in a recycling bin.

My boyfriend, business partner and father of my child, Brad and I decided to see how much a small family could collect from recycling items within a space of three months. So we placed a orange recycling bag in our kitchen, separate to our black bag for refuse. Then every time we would throw away or clean up we would sort out what went in which bag. It is so easy and quick and the amount of bags for recycling were filled much quicker before the black refuse bag was full and we now have 20 orange refuse bags full of paper and plastics.

Let’s look after our fellow surfers. © Ewing

It is scary because our black refuse bags always used to be full, now our orange refuse bags contain much more than the black refuse bags. So we put out more recycling than refuse. Then I realised that before we started recycling all of this was going in the black refuse bags and being collected by the municipality and ending up who knows where.

We have all seen our beaches piled up with plastics and we have all seen stories of marine life being affected by the refuse that ends up in the sea. We all get annoyed and moan about it when taking a walk along the beach to go for a surf. We have all looked down at the mess in disgust and shaken our heads. Yeah I know I did that, but now I know I am part of the change as I know when I see plastic on the beach or a article on marine life being harmed by plastic, it’s not my plastic. It’s not ending up in the ocean – it’s being recycled.

Buy whatever you want to buy, I personally would love to buy most of my items in glass as I drink a lot of bottled water and it comes in a plastic bottle. Just try and recycle your bought goods, the packaging it comes in. It not strenuous or annoying not even difficult it becomes a part of your lifestyle and opens up your senses to truly appreciating our ocean, beaches and our planet.

Wendy standing proud with her stash. Image supplied.

As a passionate surfer I have made it my oath to personally recycle my plastics especially as the change must start at home with one’s self. Also if you smoke, no problem, just take your buds with you. Don’t leave them in the sand because there’s a big chance they might end up in one of the ocean’s marine life.

If we could all do this across the planet for one month the shift in the world, the universe would be of big proportions. Once you go recycling you never go back, it is a life changing awaking some might say, and we all can do it. Do it for yourself you won’t regret it.

It’s been said that in thirty five years their will be more plastic in the ocean than fish! What! And that’s not the recycled plastics, it’s the plastic that’s being thrown away everyday in black refuse bags and is ending up in our oceans, which is grouping together and forming islands in parts of the ocean. This can all change and it starts with each and every one us.

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