What our trash says about us

Concerned resident, Jonathan Jensen who enjoys the outdoors, is raising awareness about the litter conditions in our municipality.

Litter in the Mangaung Metro has become a regular eye-sore for residents, and although some have taken it upon themselves to clean the city, it does not look like there is any resolution in sight.

One such resident is Jonathan Jensen. A few years ago, while looking for a place to launch a canoe in one of the local rivers, he discovered an accessible bridge via Google Earth. “When I got there, it was just was like a sick soup of plastic bottles and fish. This vision stuck with me and I often wondered what can be done. I often ride my mountain bike on the remote gravel roads in the area. But everywhere I go, the stunning Free State scenery is interrupted with junk – bottles, take-away containers, plastic bags, etc. And then, in town it’s far, far worse,” said Jensen.

In January this year he decided to take his children to see the rubbish at the low-level bridge. “I filmed some of it, not sure what I would do with the footage. Eventually, the story came to me – How does the plastic get there, and where does it go? So I decided to put a video together about that,” he explained.

Plastic pollution, and how one town in South Africa is messing up big time

How a disgusting amount of the town's rubbish gets into rivers, and eventually the ocean. if you're from Bloem, you might wanna check it out.

Posted by Jonathan Jensen on Thursday, 11 April 2019

“I hung on to the edited video for a few weeks, not sure on how to conclude. I wanted to make a positive contribution, not add to the moans and groans we always hear. I wanted to encourage a sense of responsibility, but without pointing fingers. I asked my 8-year-old son what our message should be. His childlike answer was so obvious and true; it summed it up better than I could have, so I let the kids conclude the video.”

Jensen added that he hopes to encourage others to get involved and take responsibility for their community. “Firstly, we need to regain a sense of self-respect as a society. We’re surrounded by trash as if it says nothing about our town, where we’re from, and who we are as people. Secondly, as individuals, ask if you’re litter positive, litter neutral or litter negative? In other words, do you contribute to the problem, ignore and focus on your own, or actually take steps to help alleviate the problem?

“We must recognise that this planet is not ours to trash, we are the stewards looking after it for future generations. What we see around us is our legacy,” he concluded. – Seithati Semenokane