Cape Town – Two Oceans Aquarium has challenged all schools to get rid of plastic bags for good.


The aquarium launched its Plastic Free July campaign in response to the issue of plastic pollution, which it said had become pervasive in oceans, and which was responsible for the distress and deaths of so many marine animals.

The aquarium has challenged everyone to step up and to say “no thank you” to single-use plastic shopping bags, takeaway cups, drinking straws and other items that are contributing to the pollution crisis plaguing our oceans.

Two Oceans Aquarium environmental campaigner and founder of #RethinkTheBag Hayley McLellan, said: “South Africans use approximately eight billion shopping bags every year. These bags have an approximate usage of 20 minutes.

“Thereafter they are discarded, often landing up in the environment and often finding their way into the ocean. The campaign to have plastic shopping bags banned in South Africa is also a campaign for a cleaner environment.

“We’re now appealing to all schools to take up the challenge and to become plastic bag-free zones.

“The Rethink the Bag campaign, or RtB as it’s known among its supporters, has as its primary objective to create a plastic shopping bag-free South Africa and therefore works towards the banning of the plastic shopping bag.

“How absolutely sad and unfortunate that colloquially the plastic shopping bag is known as South Africa’s national flower.

“It’s degrading to our beautiful country, its beautiful fauna and flora and its beautiful people,” said McLellan.

The aquarium said the public could join the campaign by refusing single-use plastic bags, making a pledge on its website, and asking friends and family to do the same.

For more information about Two Oceans Aquarium activities during Plastic Free July, follow the aquarium on Facebook (TwoOceansAquarium), Twitter and Instagram (2OceansAquarium), as well as their regularly updated blog on