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Fighting Ocean Pollution Upstream

New Film From Corona Studios Highlights How Innovative Solutions And Community Work Can Make The World A Better Place

With 90% of all ocean plastic pollution coming from rivers, a new digital film from Corona Studios, Litterboom: A Vision of a Clean Future, shows how the innovative Litterboom Project is helping stem the tide of plastic from reaching the oceans around South Africa by addressing the problem upstream. 

The film premiered at the World Surf League’s specialty program, J-Bay Classic presented by Corona, taking place at the iconic Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, until June 23rd. Litterboom: A Vision of a Clean Future is now available for viewing on YouTube.

Directed by Antoine Janssens and Logan Lambert, in association with Corona Studios, The Litterboom Project and Oceanic Global, the film follows Josh Redman, an environmentalist, surfer, and operations manager for The Litterboom Project, and Fabian LeBron, a pioneering member of the river team, as they apply creative technological solutions and practical community efforts to protect the ocean’s fragile ecosystem around Cape Town. 

Through their compelling insights, the beautifully shot film delves into the passionate commitment of the The Litterboom Project team and the impactful work done combating ocean pollution by intercepting plastic waste in Cape Town’s Black River and Lotus River before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean.

“You’d be amazed how much plastic we stop from getting into the ocean. It’s a real fight to keep the river clean but the community will eventually realise that their lives are simply better if we have a clean environment. We have to fight for our planet – we have nowhere else to go,” says Fabian LeBron who heads up the community river team.

Collection for the Corona and Oceanic Global sponsored grant for The Litterboom Project started in Oct 2023 and as of April this year, 40,948 kg of trash has been collected from the Black and Lotus Rivers in Cape Town with 95% of that being plastic. It is anticipated that the three-year project will intercept 288,000kg of plastic over the period.

Adds Josh Redman, Operations Manager of The Litterboom Project: “As a surfer, it’s always tragic to come across plastic whenever I’m in the water, so this Project, for me, is both personal and a critical way to stop plastic from getting there in the first place. We have a long way to go but we’re seeing the impact.”

A floating barrier made from high-density polyethylene, the Litterboom is designed to catch waste and guide it to the riverbank, which the river team then collects for recycling. To date, since inception the Litterboom has prevented over one million kilograms of plastic waste from reaching the ocean across 10 rivers in KZN and Western Cape.

As part of the next phase of this partnership, The Litterboom Project will further be establishing an Innovation Hub within the Cape Town CBD that will look to train up Wastepreneurs, who will be given an opportunity to create a business within the plastic beneficiation space, as well as commercial production with a very specific focus on environmental plastic waste that dirties our beaches, rivers and communities. 

“As a brand born at the beach and deeply connected with nature, Corona has a responsibility to do all it can to be an ally to our environment and our oceans. Along with our partners, Oceanic Global, we are proud to be associated with the Litterboom project and, with Corona Studios, helping to spread the word about ocean plastic pollution with this film,” says Melanie Nicholson, Head of Brand: Corona South Africa.

Committed to preserving and celebrating the natural world, Corona works with non-profit partner Oceanic Global to implement comprehensive sustainability criteria against the NGO’s award-winning Blue Standard. Oceanic Global’s Blue Standard empowers industries and businesses of all sizes to achieve measurable impact that protects the planet and encourages sustainable business leadership. 

In 2021, Corona became the first global beverage brand to achieve a Net Zero Plastic footprint, recovering more plastic from the environment than it releases into the world.