You can still find Hout Bay resident David Beckett and his bucket on the beach every morning, although his winter clean-up times are slightly into the mid-morning.
Mr Beckett started his own clean-up project in 2017 to keep plastic and pollution out of the water and off the sand.
Mr Beckett is at the beach seven days a week, for two hours at a time. He has been doing this for the past five years, and he can find more than 20kg of litter in a week.
But there is also sometimes treasure among the trash.
“I do a bit of metal detecting on Hout Bay Beach. I get a couple of rings, coins and I get messages from people who lost rings or stuff and they ask me to retrieve it.”
He once found a ring just minutes after the woman who lost it asked for his help. “A lady came and said she lost her ring by her friends who were suntanning and in 20 minutes I found her ring.”
On Saturday July 16, Mr Beckett and Cape Town Beach Clean-up – a non-profit organisation that keeps beaches free from litter and pollution and promotes environmental awareness – held a clean-up day on the beach with nearly 50 Hout Bay residents.
Cape Town Beach Clean-up’s Greg Player thanked everyone who came out to help. “A special thanks to David for the amazing work he does on a continuous basis clearing the beach.”
Mr Player urges the public to recycle and use bins. “With so much plastic entering the oceans on a daily basis, we would really like to encourage more people to take a bag with them on their daily walks and pick up litter as they go along. Every small bit helps.“
Mr Beckett adds: “Please don’t trash the beach. Recycle your plastic, put it in bins, save this beautiful blue planet of ours. It’s about saving the ocean for the future and preserving it for the young generation. I’m here to teach the young generation about plastic pollution and plastic awareness that our marine life is getting killed by plastic pollution.”
The next public beach clean-up is expected to happen in August.