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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.
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Stakeholder picture
Stakeholder picture
Stakeholder picture
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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
Gender of participants

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Age of participants in the programme

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Time spent looking for a job before employed with the programme

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No. of new waste trapping interventions implemented

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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

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% of port users with improved waste management understanding and practices

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No. of app downloads for both Android and iPhone

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Port users engaged in recycling and eco-friendly practices

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Amount of material upcycled

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No. of ocean pavers produced

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Perception of port users accountability of waste generation in the port.

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Amount of avoided plastic leakage into the Durban Bay (in KGs)

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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

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Perceived importance of good waste management practices by YES Team

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Beneficiaries' perception of their own financial situation

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Perception of state of Durban Port ecosystem by port users

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Who we are

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

They are supporting us