Monday 11 March 2019, Australian born conservationist and docu-journalist Adrian Steirn, who has adopted South Africa as his home country, was recognised by the Queen as the 91st Commonwealth Point of Light for his outstanding service and inspirational work campaigning for conservation. Adrian is the founder of ‘Beautiful News,’ a multimedia storytelling format that uses photography and filmmaking to share the stories of ordinary people in southern Africa whose passion, dedication and commitment inspires, helps or otherwise influences the habitat, and those around them, in a positive way. Through Beautiful News, and with projects such as 21 Icons, Azerbaijan Leopard Project, Pangolin Men in Zimbabwe and the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa, Steirn has been at the forefront of pivotal content that has had a large role in stimulating action and discussion around key conservation issues. Steirn has also displayed a unique bravery, putting his life at risk to consistently defend those under threat in their own habitats and expose those who seek to use the environment for their own benefit. In 2018, Steirn received worldwide acclaim and recognition for his brave three-month undercover mission which uncovered a poaching and smuggling syndicate, linked directly to the former first lady Grace Mugabe. Steirn gathered documents, undercover videos and testimonies, which he showed to Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit. Since Steirn’s work in Zimbabwe, over 300 kilograms of illicit ivory has been seized by the authorities and a police investigation against Mugabe regime is currently underway. “To be awarded the point of light award is a great accolade and I deeply appreciate it. It really is an award that represents communities of people that have touched me over the last decade of photographing Africa and speaks back to the value of our natural world and platforms such as Beautiful News.” In 2019, Steirn intends to continue utilising his mastery of storytelling in . . .
We can confidently say that this has never been recorded before in the annals of mankind....... https://youtu.be/ChcEb6mlEUo The above images are available from Barcroft Media who have secured the Worldwide Licensing rights. Any requests for images can be sent to the Barcroft licensing team at: firstname.lastname@example.org Other video by Rainer Schimpf available under license from Barcroft Studios can be seen in the Barcroft Studio Library - search for 'Rainer Schimpf'. Exclusive interviews with Rainer can be booked through the contact form on the AB Marine Web Site. Inside Man For over 20 years Port Elizabeth, South Africa based Rainer Schimpf has lived his passion as a marine conservationist, award winning photographer and tour operator in the marine and adventure sector. His dedication to protecting the environment has made him known around the globe with his particular passion for documenting Orcas killing dolphins, whilst documenting Orcas hunting behavior and pod structure. Schimpf was the first to film and document a handicapped Orca (named SIRA) in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Most of these sightings occurred during the biggest marine migration in the Southern Hemisphere and Indian Ocean - the Sardine Run. Rainer is an acknowledged authority, specialising in tracking and finding Sardines and the predators (Dolphins, Whales, Sharks and sea Birds) that follow and feast on the Sardine Run, having documented this marine spectacle all along the Southern Cape Coast to Port Elizabeth's Algoa Bay (which hosts the longest and greatest portion of the Sardine Run up South Africa's East Coast) to the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. Sardine Run divers, Whale and Dolphin Watchers and International Film Crews all rely on Rainer's marine knowledge to 'get the shot'. Over 20 years expertise is distilled into the 'hunt' for cetaceans along the coast. Schimpf is particularly proud of hosting his biggest production for Galatee/Pathe with Oceans and . . .
The Polystyrene Association of South Africa (PolySA) has responded to a statement made by the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs before the National Assembly yesterday, that polystyrene is one of the five so-called “problem plastic products” that have a short lifespan and are the biggest culprits in our environment. The other items on this list are plastic cutlery, stirrers, earbuds and straws. The Association’s Chief Executive Officer, Adri Spangenberg, said that polystyrene is so much more than just a single-use plastic, given the fact that South Africa has developed various end-markets that use recycled polystyrene with great effect. “During the 2017-2018 financial year, more than 6 300 tons of polystyrene were successfully diverted from our country’s landfills and recycled in South Africa. Considering that our recycling figures stood at 1 849 tons in 2013, we are very proud of this growth – proving that the local polystyrene recycling industry is growing and thriving,” she said. Spangenberg said recycled polystyrene is in great demand by recyclers, who use the material in the production of picture frames, cornices and stationery. “The biggest demand for polystyrene, however, has comes from the building and construction industry where recycled polystyrene is used in the production of lightweight concrete bricks and screeds. Polystyrene used in this application can be of any colour or grade, clean or slightly contaminated as it gets chopped up and mixed with a special mixture of cement and other ingredients to form lightweight concrete that is waterproof, fire resistant, offers insulation against heat and cold and it is cheaper and easier to build with than traditional bricks or concrete”. The Association acknowledges that polystyrene is one of the items frequently found in the environment, owing to the fact that it is incredibly lightweight and is therefore easily scooped up and blown away by the wind. “94 % of polystyrene is air, and . . .
The problem of billions of non-biodegradable plastic straws ending up in the world’s oceans has received much attention of late. This prompted local security seal specialist, TruSeal (Pty) Ltd, to investigate environmentally-friendly options for its range of tamper-evident plastic security seals. “We use a lot of plastic in the Security Seal industry, the seals are used to secure moveable goods and high-value assets in several logistics-based industries including the retail and supply chain environments. They are ubiquitous and, once used, have the potential to become an environmental nuisance if not properly-managed,” says TruSeal director, Brent Cramer. “Currently, plastics only break down into smaller constituent parts. While saving landfill space, this has remained a source of concern for some time and so we’re especially pleased to have sourced a green solution to the issue of using once off use plastics adding to the carbon footprint of several client industries,” explains Mr Cramer. The new TruSeal product extension is produced in a special biodegradable material sourced from Malaysia. Once this material comes into contact with an environment like a landfill - or even a compost heap - where certain naturally-occurring microbes are present, it will begin to biodegrade. “This is an incredible solution to a burgeoning issue for our industry,” adds Mr Cramer. Biodegradable security seals are used by a mere handful of companies across the globe, with TruSeal being the first in South Africa to roll-out this green solution. The company says it is preparing an impressive 250 000 biodegradable security seals for delivery across South Africa in the first quarter of 2019. From this first green option, TruSeal will eventually phase in a biodegradable option across all of its product lines. The TruSeal security seal system creates collective responsibility around moveable items like airline cargo, fast-moving consumer goods, high-value electronic products, . . .
In an event slightly more compact than usual, SPAR Eastern Cape were still able to make a significant contribution to supporting the environment when they hosted their annual Charity Golf Day in Port Elizabeth last week. The event took place at the Humewood Golf Course on Thursday and the focus was on the natural environment, with SANCCOB (SA Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) and Bayworld this year's beneficiaries. Both organisations are involved in the protection of the world's natural resources through the rehabilitation of marine life, tying in with SPAR EC's vision to reduce the use of plastic in society. When the final putt had been sunk on Thursday, SPAR EC were able to make a donation of R35 000 to each organisation, a contribution which will go a long way towards helping them achieve their goals. SPAR EC sponsorships and events manager Alan Stapleton welcomed all the golfers, suppliers and retailers to the day, but reminded them that it was all about supporting a good cause. "We certainly hope you enjoyed yourself in great weather on a magnificent course, but this day is really about the beneficiaries," he said. "It's a chance to generate funds for people who go out selflessly working for the benefit of the environment, our animals and our natural resources. "Both SANCCOB and Bayworld do an amazing job looking after our marine life and this goes hand in hand with our Stop Plastic campaign [launched in April last year]." In the initial phase of the campaign, Stapleton said SPAR EC had sold 3-million fewer plastic bags, which was an excellent start. "But we need to continue raising awareness about the dangers of single-use plastic in society and we would like all our suppliers and competitors to get on board. "It is not just about what SPAR EC can do, but what we all can do together - the retailers, suppliers and our competitors. "We would like to create a wave of measures limiting the use of plastic and I . . .
Restaurant home-sources fresher, tastier ingredients around Joburg Urbanologi, a gastronomic hub inside Jozi's award-winning Mad Giant brewery, has taken a bold new stride in its journey to ecosystem sustainability and upended its strategy for sourcing ingredients. Project 150 is Urbanologi's new culinary mantra that sees all ingredients, except spices, sourced within 150km of the city restaurant. The popular destination is located at the ever-expanding 1 Fox Precinct, in the CBD district of Ferreirasdorp and a neighbourhood that has been revived. The vibey nearby Newtown Precinct is home to the Market Theatre, Turbine Hall & Boiler House, Ginologist Distillery, Inner-City Rooftop farming projects, and the iconic Mandela Bridge. "Project 150 reforms how we think about farming and food," says Urbanologi chef Jack Coetzee, who heads up the initiative. "Is Johannesburg ready for it? I certainly hope so. I know one thing for sure, it is disruptive and certainly in a good way." Project 150 was inspired by a desire to lend vigour to the wave of conscious living and sustainable practices around food, and to pursue culinary excellence. "Most of the food served is unsustainable," says Jack. "We transport fish and meat thousands of kilometres to reach the plate for the sake of demand." There are various reasons this happens. People refuse to eat certain food because it is seen as lower class, such as white bread gaining prominence over artisanal bread. "Convenience and a lack of creativity means menus don’t change and many, not regularly enough," Jack says."We don’t make enough use of micro-seasons where products are fresh and at their peak. Urbanologi has been just as guilty, which is why we've changed our philosophy." Jack says unsustainability has also been a result of the "commercialisation of food", which encourages food made quickly and cheaply, and as a result the quality of the nutrition is poor. "To solve this problem, we need to . . .
There is a growing trend to shake off the shackles of consumerist living by choosing a minimalist lifestyle, and one of the biggest changes to consider is your home. Renishaw Hills, a mature lifestyle village on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, is embracing this minimalist ideal where downsizing and hassle-free living allow you to retire stress-free. “So often we overcomplicate our lives by seeking to accumulate unnecessary items, micro-managing every aspect of our day-to-day living when all we’re doing is causing unending stress,” explained Phil Barker, managing director of Renishaw Property Developments. “When it comes to the retirement years, we believe in simplifying life. It’s about eliminating stress for all our residents by effortlessly managing all aspects of estate living and making the transition to Renishaw Hills as easy as possible.” Here is how Renishaw Hills promotes this hassle-free lifestyle: 1. Save money and relinquish responsibilities Large, freestanding homes generally result in a much higher cost of living. Home and garden maintenance, security, internet access, insurance…each amount eventually adds up to a lot. At Renishaw Hills, the monthly levy is inclusive of all these costs and, without the responsibility of payments and administration falling on your shoulders, you’re unburdened to live a stress-free existence. 2. Simplify your life Where downscaling was once considered a negative, the reality is that de-cluttering your life is beneficial physically, as well as mentally. Globally-renowned tidying expert, Marie Kondo, and her minimalist approach to living has highlighted the incredible joy that can be experienced when clearing out our homes of unnecessary items. After a process of going through items and deciding what you truly need, you will be left with a newfound appreciation for the items you have, with less concern about cleaning and maintenance. The residents at Renishaw Hills have expressed great happiness at the . . .
The world of packaging is changing rapidly and right before our eyes. Packaging that has been generally accepted as conventional for many years, has suddenly become unacceptable. Reacting to a very vocal consumer market, as well as statutory and regulatory pressures that demand alternative, environmentally responsible packaging, marketing gurus and brand owners are gradually seeing the merits of circular economies of aluminium and tinplate packaging for their products. “The world has undoubtedly shifted to a much more sustainable one, and metal packaging is finding itself on the right side of this equation,” says Kishan Singh, CEO of MetPac-SA, the Producer Responsibility Organisation representing the aluminium and tinplate packaging industries in South Africa. "Metal packaging definitely offers a viable, sustainable alternative and the metal volume slice of the SA Packaging Market is predicted to increase as a result. “I believe that the SA Metal Packaging Industry is offering a proven, sustainable solution to the imminent penalty clauses that will no doubt be imposed by the Department of Environmental Affairs ," Kishan declares. The Appeal of Aluminium One of the aspects that makes aluminium packaging an alluring packaging option, is it’s very high collection and recycling rate. "Aluminium cans has the highest recycling rate of all packaging materials. It is infinitely recyclable with little loss of the yield of aluminium. It is estimated that roughly 75 % of the aluminium ever produced, is still in use today,” he says. The principal ore used for aluminium production is called Bauxite – a scarce natural resource that is imported from tropical and sub-tropical areas such as the West Indies, South America and Australia where it naturally occurs. However, because aluminium cans are collected and recovered at such high rates, very little of this scarce natural resource, nor the water, energy or other resources used in the original production . . .
(Feb. 15, 2019 - Johannesburg) - Just as the South African government reported fewer rhinos poached in 2018, Hong Kong authorities yesterday announced a record-breaking seizure of rhino horn from two air passengers traveling from South Africa en route to Vietnam. “The timing of these announcements couldn’t be more ironic,” said CEO of WildAid Peter Knights. “On the one hand, South Africa celebrates the decline in poaching and on the other, Hong Kong makes another record seizure. Meanwhile, the number of rhinos continues to dwindle.” On Wednesday, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) reported that the number of rhinos poached in South Africa fell from 1,028 in 2017 to 769 in 2018 - a decrease of 259 or about 25%. In just a decade, more than 7,912 South African rhinos have been lost to poaching, according to government figures. With a total rhino population in South Africa of about 20,000, losing almost 8,000 to poaching over the past 10 years is clearly unsustainable. "While slightly less than last year, 769 rhinos poached is way too many and we must get this number down to zero,” said Knights. “We need serious action to address this crisis." Also, while fewer rhinos were poached in 2018, the number of incursions inside and adjacent to the Kruger National Park remained about the same at 2,620 while the number of rhinos poached there declined by 16% from 504 to 422. "As rhino numbers decline, each individual becomes harder to find,” said Knights. “This leads us to question whether we’re just running out of rhinos.” Other areas with significant rhino populations had a higher decrease in poaching such as KwaZulu Natal (36%), North West (32%) and Limpopo (50%) among others, while Mpumalanga increased slightly from 49 to 51 rhinos poached and Eastern Cape increased 58% from 12 to 19. South Africa’s ‘success’ story was further tarnished by yesterday’s news from Hong Kong where Customs seized a record-breaking 40kg of rhino horns . . .
South African underwater photographer Allen Walker (Warner Beach) took the number one spot for the shark photography category at the World ShootOut 2018 awards held at the boot Düsseldorf dive show in Germany recently. “I am thrilled about having won the shark photography category of the prestigious World ShootOut. It puts South Africa firmly on the world map of underwater photography and will promote tourism to South Africa in the diving industry, more specifically shark diving which has become a very popular activity for underwater divers and photographers from around the world. Aliwal Shoal on the KZN south coast boasts with some of the best shark diving in the world and is definitely a must-visit attraction. I really hope that this will also strengthen South Africa’s resolve to protect these animals for future generations and the tourism industry,” commented Walker. Hundreds of photographers from around 40 countries around the world take part in the World ShootOut competition year after year, submitting thousands of images and videos, ranging from those that capture the calm lakes of the Nordic countries and Canada, showcase the exotic secrets hidden in Alaska and introduce the great dramatic white shark in the Gulf of Mexico. To see more of Walker’s images visit: http://www.awphotosa.com CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .