A move likely to inspire other sports clubs to do the same as concern mounts about the state of the ocean
The False Bay Yacht Club / marina has set a South African benchmark by banning the use of disposable plastic at its facilities. The Club has already joined the global Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas program – to be rolled out this month at their Spring regatta – but is now going one step further by attempting to go ‘plastic-free’ – as much as possible.
“We are going permanently plastic free as far as possible,” FBYC general manager Natasha Fish told SABBEX. “We are really trying to change things in the hope that this will filter through to the rest of the country.”
Biodegradable items would be sourced to replace single-use plastics and food packaging wherever possible, and members had been alerted to the new policy.
Sailing and marketing manager Linsay Oberholzer said: “It will be the first marina in the country to do this.”
The FBYC marina already has blue flag status, a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education to promote environmentally-friendly practices.
Participants at FBYC’s recent Spring Regatta were provided with reusable water bottles rather than single-use items, in order to comply with the Sailors For the Sea programme which aims to help conserve and protect the ocean.
FBYC commodore Anthony Wentworth said there was a high level of awareness about plastic waste in the sailing community: “We will be embedding the plastic-free policy into the ongoing running of our club and marina environments,” he told Sail & Leisure magazine during a recent interview. “Over the years we have been very proud and protective of the Blue Flag status of our marina, and this (Clean Regattas) initiative is a natural progression to preserve the environment we enjoy.”
FBYC also organises annual dive clean-ups to clean the underwater environment.