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, 10–15 September will once again be proclaimed ‘Clean-up and Recycling Week.’ As in previous years, various clean-up events will take place during this week in an effort to make people aware of the fact that “Plastics don’t litter, people do.” The highlights of this week will undoubtedly be the celebration of national Recycling Day on Friday, 14 September and the 27th International Coastal Clean-Up Day on Saturday, 15 September – one of the world’s biggest volunteer efforts for ocean health.
“Over the past 16 years, Plastics|SA has supported and coordinated various environmental initiatives such as Recycling Day and the International Coastal Clean-Up to educate the public about the importance of recycling plastics and encouraging them to help us rid the environment of litter”, says Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director of Plastics|SA.
What originally started out as a plastics industry drive, has since developed into a country wide awareness campaign that is supported by 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 – that of litter-free streets, rivers and beaches – by mobilizing local communities to make a difference in their own neighbourhoods,” Steyn explains.
it’s our responsibility
Earlier this year, Plastics|SA used the Water Week celebrations held in March to launch its new “berg2beach” campaign. “We will be sending the message out that plastics make it possible for us to enjoy the great outdoors and practice our favourite sports and leisure activities. At the same time, however, everybody has the responsibility to ensure that plastic litter doesn’t end up defacing the natural beauty and diversity of our dams or rivers, hiking trails, mountains and beaches,” Steyn explains.
They have also initiated a highly successful ‘Clean-Up and Recycle berg2beach’ Competition aimed at schools and organisations. “There are exciting cash prizes and appliances valued at more than R120 000 to be won. Supporters can enter any of the four categories in the competition,” Steyn explains. In each category, schools or pupils must ensure that teachers, fellow pupils, community members, municipality, businesses and the media are involved in their campaigns.
Big businesses have also shown their support for the Plastics|SA initiatives through sponsorships. During September SASOL, Pick n Pay, WESSA, Eco-Bin, KZN Wildlife, Astrapak, Tuffy Manufacturing and the Plastics Industry polymer groups will all be contributing towards turning the tide on litter in South Africa during September.
For more information on clean-up initiatives, drop off sites, the competition or hints and tips on how to recycle, visit one of these sites: