Keeping our country clean

Volunteers at last year’s International Coastal Cleanup event

This year, from 14 to 19 September 2015, South African companies and individuals will unite and participate in the National Clean-Up and Recycle Week SA.

According to Douw Steyn, director of sustainability at Plastics SA and chairman of the National Recycling Forum, all packaging streams, including oil and e-waste recyclers, will use this week to promote environmental responsibility.

Industry bodies, organisations and other stakeholders will spread the message about the importance of looking after the environment and ensuring that everybody takes responsibility for recycling where they work, live or play. ‘The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved’ says Steyn.

Rich history

For the past 20 years, Plastics SA has been coordinating clean-up events around the country. Steyn explains the first International Coastal Cleanup was held in 1996 as an initiative of the plastics industry and KZN Wildlife to remove the most visible plastics litter from the coastal area.

Since then, it has become an annual, country-wide event which is supported by the glass, cans, paper and board industries, as well as oil converters, recyclers, brand owners and retailers.

These companies also support the event:

  • Brand SA
  • KZN Wildlife
  • Tuffy Manufacturing
  • Pick n Pay
  • Garbie (East Rand Plastics)
  • Department of Environmental Affairs

Join in the fun

During National Clean-Up and Recycle Week SA, various clean-up projects will take place in cities, towns, communities and schools as individuals are encouraged to pay attention to the problem of waste around them.

‘Plastics SA and our partners in this project will be sponsoring 250 000 bright yellow refuse bags, which will be donated for clean-up projects around South Africa,’ reports Steyn. Highlights of this week will once again be National Recycling Day on 18 September and the annual International Coastal Cleanup Day on 19 September.

‘The local plastics industry has set itself an aspirational vision of zero plastics to landfill by 2030. Mother Nature supplies us with the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. If our environment isn’t clean and healthy, neither are we. We therefore urge all South Africans to clean-up the environment and recycle in order to give future generations a hope for a sustainable future.’

For more information on clean-up initiatives, drop-off sites, the competition or hints and tips on how to recycle, visit the following websites:

Alternatively, email [email protected] for more information.

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