About 30 volunteers, including members of the Fishrite Cricket Club, cleaned up dumping hot spots in Hanover Park on Saturday.
The clean-up was organised by Visions of Change South Africa, a non-profit organisation that tackles environmental and social issues, in recognition of Mandela Day.
Kim Williams, one of the organisation’s directors, said social and environmental ills often went hand in hand, Visions of Change held clean-ups in gang-ravaged communities to show young people that if they could clean up their surroundings they could clean up themselves.
“We want to create a clean environment prove that they are not their circumstances, that they can rise above that,” she said.
“People have a right to a clean environment. We have given the community some tips to reduce single-use plastics.”
Lollipop sticks, ear buds, straws, sweet and chip packets and cigarette packets were the top-five litter items picked up on the day, she said.
“These all break up into micro plastics and end up in stormwater drains, which leads to blocked drains, and eventually into the ocean.”
One of the volunteers, Mikaeel Ryneveldt, 43, of Hanover Park, said it was important to set an example for children in the community.
“I want to tell people to stop dumping and littering. They need to have a look at what they are doing and how they are affecting other people. Our kids don’t like how people use their sports fields to dump.”
Fishrite Cricket Club youth leader Carlyle Roberts, said: “People must stop dumping. They don’t know what they are doing. The environment is so dirty. The sea is full of dirt, and fish think they can eat it. Our community must be kept clean. People have negative thoughts of an area when it is so dirty. We want more people to join us.”