Spring brings the idea of new life and a fresh start to life, which includes living in a cleaner, unpolluted environment. September is traditionally the month in which South Africans from all walks of life are encouraged to clean-up and recycle where they work, live or play
This year, 16-21 September 2013 will once again be “Clean-up and Recycle Week” which will culminate in National Recycling Day on Friday, 20 September and the 28th International Coastal Clean Up day on Saturday, 21 September.
For the past 17 years, Plastics|SA has been the coordinator of Cleanup and Recycling month. What originally started out as a plastics industry drive in 1996, has since developed into a country wide awareness campaign that enjoys the support and involvement of the National Recycling Forum (NRF) and all of the players in the packaging industry, including the glass, cans and paper converters and recyclers.
“During September we see packaging leaders united around a common goal –litter-free streets, rivers and beaches – by mobilizing local communities to make a difference in their own neighbourhoods,” explains Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director of Plastics|SA.
National Recycling Day
Schools, businesses and communities are encouraged to recycle on Friday, 20 September 2013. “Although recycling has become second nature to many people, research shows that the majority of our population still don’t recycle despite the various awareness campaigns. There are still not enough collection points in many of our major cities, while many consumers still claim to be unsure about what materials can be recycled or how to go about it”, Steyn says.
“This is one day of the year that we are making an appeal to South Africans to consciously recycle their plastics, cans, glass, paper, oil and e-waste and in order to reduce the pressure on our country’s landfills. Support the recycling industry by taking your recyclables to a recycling facility near you or by separating your recyclables from your wet waste for curbside collection. Communities should appeal to their local municipalities and leaders if they live in communities where their waste is not collected and recycled,” Steyn says.
28th International Coastal Clean Up Day
One of the world’s biggest volunteer efforts for ocean health will take place on Saturday, 21 September 2013 when thousands of South Africans join volunteers around the world to clean up our country’s beaches.
“The ocean supplies much of the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. That means no matter where you live, your life depends on the ocean. If our ocean isn’t healthy, neither are we”, Steyn explains.
During last year’s International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers picked up more than 4,536 tons (4,536,000 kg) of almost every imaginable type of waste along the world’s shorelines. This year, Plastics SA will once again ask volunteers of every age, background and nationality to give two hours of their time to help clean our country’s water sources and beaches.
“In keeping with our Berg-2-Beach campaign, we are encouraging celebrities, sport teams and businesses to lead by example by initiating or participating in clean-ups from coast-to-coast, across our cities, around our bountiful water sources and scenic mountains”, Steyn concludes. “We need citizens who are willing to join forces and do their part to keep our environment litter free and pristine for future generations to enjoy”.
More information on clean-up initiatives, drop off sites, the competition or hints and tips on how to recycle: