In a remarkable display of environmental stewardship and community engagement, recently Toyota, in collaboration with a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) Clean Surf, spearheaded a massive beach clean-up operation at the river mouth of the Umbogintwini River in Isipingo.

One hundred and fifty dedicated volunteers, comprising Toyota staff and contractors, descended upon a local beach to make a substantial impact on the environment and mark the beginning of spring.

“The turnout was just amazing with members from Toyota South Africa Motors rolling up their sleeves, joining the Clean Surf Project to tackle a stretch of beach that is constantly exposed to plastic marine pollution due to its close proximity to the Umbogintwini Rivermouth,” says Denzil Van Der Westhuizen from Clean Surf Project.

A Collective Effort for a Cleaner Environment

Volunteers worked tirelessly to rid the beach of unsightly and harmful litter. Their collective efforts resulted in the removal of a staggering 183 bags of trash, weighing in at over 1200 kilograms. Among the items retrieved from the shoreline were plastic waste, polystyrene, discarded clothing, shoes, and various beverage bottles.

Toyota’s commitment to environmental sustainability was on full display as this beach clean-up initiative not only aligns with their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations but also contributes to Challenge 6 of Toyota’s 2050 Environmental Challenge. This challenge is aimed at creating a future society that lives in harmony with nature, reflecting the company’s long-term vision for a greener world.

Celebrating Spring and Looking Forward to Coastal Clean-Up Day

This significant clean-up effort was not only an act of environmental responsibility but also a celebration of the arrival of spring. Participants expressed their dedication to preserving the local environment and setting an example for the local community. The event also serves as a precursor to International Coastal Clean-up Day on Saturday, 16 September. With a strong commitment to the cause, Toyota and Clean Surf are setting the stage for a broader and more impactful coastal clean-up event in the coming weeks.

A Cleaner Future in Sight

The success of this beach clean-up operation illustrates the positive change that can be achieved when corporate entities collaborate with local NGOs and engage their employees and contractors in meaningful environmental initiatives. As Toyota continues to champion environmental responsibility and sustainability, their dedication to Challenge 6 of the 2050 Environmental Challenge remains unwavering. With a cleaner beach and a brighter future in sight, the company continues to lead by example, proving that a harmonious coexistence with nature is not just a dream but a tangible goal.

“An incredible team effort to say the least. Some of the volunteers expressed great concerns as they had never imagined finding certain items on the beach, e.g. car parts, polystyrene broken into thousands and thousands of small pieces causing major harm to bird life and marine life, nappies, candles, any type of plastic product one could think of, shoes, flip flops, animal carcasses and the list goes on. We hope that more community members will become aware of the environmental problems we are facing by engaging in such great initiatives to grow collaborations with community groups, schools, business sectors and local/national government, coastal as well as inland,” says Romy Wenzel from Clean Surf Project.

As volunteers packed up their bags and left the beach, they left behind more than just a cleaner shoreline. They left behind a lasting impression of what can be achieved through collective action, setting a powerful precedent for future endeavors in the pursuit of a cleaner, greener world.