Blue Port Project

The Blue Port Project (a project of the WILDTRUST) aims to create action-based research and implementation of strategic interventions to reduce plastic waste in the Durban Port and ultimately restore the Durban Bay to its natural functioning state. This is done through innovative waste trapping interventions and up-cycling initiatives. The project focuses on key hotspot areas of both waste accumulation and entry points into the port, activating both land and water cleanup interventions that will ultimately impact the health of the Port system and consequently, the human systems that depend on a high-quality habitat. This project will be supporting the collection of plastic waste, piloting plastic collection interventions and turning this plastic that is collected into "ocean pavers" (in collaboration with IMAGINEIF, a waste upcycling initiative), for a 12-month period

5. Gender Equality12. Responsible Consumption and Production14. Life below Water
  • Transnet : Transnet is a state-owned company that is custodian of ports, rail and pipelines in South Africa. The WILDTRUST has a long-standing partnership with Transnet Port Authority and both organisations are committed to finding innovative solutions for cleaning up the port and supporting each other wherever possible. We will be working together at five sites for this project, where Transnet are funding perma-booms at four of these sites, and we will be deploying our teams to remove the waste from these booms.
  • Youth Employment Services (YES) Blue Port Team : This is the operational team - actively collecting and sorting the waste: 18-27 year old, previously unemployed local community members (majority women) recruited on 1-year work-placements. The Blue Port team work in the port daily, servicing passive waste trapping devices such as booms and containment structures, as well as targeting waste at accumulation points in the port. The team collects waste, sorts it into different waste streams and reports on the waste collected.
  • Durban Bay : The Durban Port, situated on the east coast of South Africa,is a modern, well-equipped and highly industrialized port, and one of the busiest in Africa. It is popularly known as one of the economy's key assets and is an important resource for the citizens of Durban to access for commercial, recreational, educational and social activities. Whilst the port supports all these activities, it has become increasingly degraded as plastic waste, carried along the rivers and storm water canals, flows into the Port. Despite the level of degradation, the estuary of the port remains an important ecosystem that provides vital nursery areas for a number of marine species and an important roosting and feeding area for both migratory and resident birds. The continued health of this marine and estuarine system and consequently human systems rely on the maintenance of a high-quality habitat.

Our actions

Advocating for improved waste management policies
Activating YES youth Blue Port crew for waste collection
Implementing a passive waste trapping containment structure in the canals flowing into the port
Developing ocean pavers (made of 70% glass and 30% un-recyclable material) through IMAGINEIF
Age of participants in the programme
Collection period: 2020
18-200% (0 of 7 responses)
21-2457% (4 of 7 responses)
25-2729% (2 of 7 responses)
28 or older14% (1 of 7 responses)
Time spent looking for a job before employed with the programme
Collection period: 2020
Less than a year57% (4 of 7 responses)
1-2 years14% (1 of 7 responses)
2-3 years14% (1 of 7 responses)
More than 3 years14% (1 of 7 responses)
No. of new waste trapping interventions implemented
Collection period: 2020
Gender of participants

No data


Our outcomes

Creation of employment (Youth Employment Services - YES)
Improved waste collection (both active and passive)
Mobile App: Dissemination of data to Port users and Durban citizens
Increase in awareness on reducing or better managing waste among inhabitants
Development of waste reduction innovations
Production of ocean pavers used for building materials
Satisfaction rate of users in the Port with the clean-up activity
Collection period: 2020
1 - Extremely dissatisfied25% (1 of 4 responses)
250% (2 of 4 responses)
325% (1 of 4 responses)
40% (0 of 4 responses)
5 - Extremely satisfied0% (0 of 4 responses)
% of port users with improved waste management understanding and practices
Collection period: 2020
<50% of staff trained0% (0 of 4 responses)
50-100% of staff trained25% (1 of 4 responses)
100% of staff trained0% (0 of 4 responses)
I don't have any training programme in place.75% (3 of 4 responses)
No. of app downloads for both Android and iPhone
Collection period: 2020
Port users engaged in recycling and eco-friendly practices
Collection period: 2020
Not at all25% (1 of 4 responses)
To some extent50% (2 of 4 responses)
Very much25% (1 of 4 responses)
Perception of port users accountability of waste generation in the port.
Collection period: 2020
1 - Strongly disagree75% (3 of 4 responses)
225% (1 of 4 responses)
30% (0 of 4 responses)
40% (0 of 4 responses)
5 - Strongly agree0% (0 of 4 responses)
Amount of avoided plastic leakage into the Durban Bay (in KGs)
23 081
Collection period: 2020
No. of ocean pavers produced
8 105
Collection period: 2020
Amount of material upcycled (kg)
59 794
Collection period: 2020

Our impacts

Plastic waste materials value chain developed
Improved Durban Port ecosystem health
Improvement of livelihoods of marginalized groups through YES programme
Improved environmental awareness of the YES team
Perception by workers of their work’s importance in society
Collection period: 2020
1 - Strongly disagree14% (1 of 7 responses)
214% (1 of 7 responses)
371% (5 of 7 responses)
40% (0 of 7 responses)
5 - Strongly agree0% (0 of 7 responses)
Perceived importance of good waste management practices by YES Team
Collection period: 2020
1 - Strongly disagree0% (0 of 7 responses)
20% (0 of 7 responses)
30% (0 of 7 responses)
429% (2 of 7 responses)
5 - Strongly agree71% (5 of 7 responses)
Beneficiaries' perception of their own financial situation
Collection period: 2020
1 - I am currently struggling to satisfy basic needs (food, transportation, housing)43% (3 of 7 responses)
243% (3 of 7 responses)
314% (1 of 7 responses)
40% (0 of 7 responses)
5 - I don't have any particular financial difficulties0% (0 of 7 responses)
Perception of state of Durban Port ecosystem by port users
Collection period: 2020
1 - Extremely polluted50% (2 of 4 responses)
225% (1 of 4 responses)
325% (1 of 4 responses)
40% (0 of 4 responses)
5 - Not at all polluted0% (0 of 4 responses)

Who we are

  • Rachel Kramer
    Project Manager
  • Simone Dale
    Projects Director
  • Wendy Dunn
    Blue Port team supervisor
  • Hanno Langenhoven
    Recycling Manager
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