Ballito Pro and Breathe Conservation share 10 tips to reduce plastic pollution

Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the oceans harming nearly 700 species and killing millions of animals. To turn the tide on plastic pollution, The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill has introduced the 2021 Ballito Pro Environmental Awareness Campaign and Programme. Run by Sarah Ferguson of Breathe Conservation, the environmental programme will educate and inspire attendees to this year’s Ballito Pro, taking place in KwaDukuza from 9 to 19 December.

“Plastic never disappears, it just causes a toxic build-up and the victims are our marine life,” explained Ferguson, a renowned Channel swimmer, world record holder, and physiotherapist. “Plastic bottles and caps, drinking straws, chip packets, ear buds, flip-flop sandals and polystyrene waste is impacting the entire marine ecosystem – but it’s not too late. We need to keep fighting which is why we’ll be running the Environmental Awareness Campaign and Programme at the Ballito Pro from 15 to 17 December.”

Breathe Conservation is a global non-profit organisation dedicated to solving the problem of plastic pollution by inspiring change. The organisation promotes ocean conservation and development through education, offering alternative solutions to incite behavioural change. Sarah explained that, by making a few changes in daily life, every consumer can help save the oceans.

Here are her top 10 tips on eradicating throw-away plastic pollution.

  1. Bring your own coffee cup instead of opting for a takeaway.
  2. Refuse a straw. Rather take your own reusable straw if you enjoy drinking with a straw or simply drink from the cup.
  3. Carry your own shopping bag or ask for a box at the till if you forget to take yours. It’s best to keep some reusable shopping bags in the car at all times.
  4. Buy loose fruit and vegetables rather than pre-packaged, and place these in your own fruit bag or ask for a box at the shop.
  5. Show initiative at the till by stopping and asking politely for the packer to not use the transparent packets to package your meat, milk or flowers.
  6. When ordering a drink at a restaurant, request no plastic straws and rather use a reusable spoon for milkshakes.
  7. Bring your own containers for takeaways at restaurants.
  8. Carry you own reusable water bottle with you rather than buying plastic bottles.
  9. Shop at your closest re-fill den for your cleaning products rather than buying new bottles every time.
  10. Use bar soap instead of liquid soap in a plastic container.

2021 Ballito Pro Environmental Awareness Campaign and Programme

There will be a guided marine walk by environmental educator, Andre Steenkamp. He will provide useful insight into topics such as tides and the local marine life.

The pop-up snorkel day will give participants an up-close interaction with the incredible marine life.

The Slip Slop Campaign encourages attendees to dispose of any old slip slops in the strategically positioned bins so they can be recycled, and not end up as ocean pollution.

2021 Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill details

The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill will be held in December for the first time ever, running an exciting surf and festival programme. The event is based at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza from 9 to 19 December. The Ballito Pro in partnership with IPSS Medical and We Thrive is running a Covid-19 Safety Awareness Campaign which will include a Vaccination and Testing Site at Willard Beach for event goers.

People can book via the Thrive website ( for vaccination instore at Thrive Ballito from 1pm to 5pm.

Alternatively, the Thrive Nurse will vaccinate at the Ballito Pro Thrive stand from 8am to 1pm. Walk-ins will be accepted, but bookings will take preference. IPSS Medical will also have a designated Covid-19 Testing Site at the event entrance, together with the Dept of Health, where they will conduct Covid-19 PCR and antigen tests. The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill will broadcast the event in partnership with DSTV People’s Weather channel 180 / Openview Channel 115, and Ballito TV.