It’s not always easy getting folks into the habit of cleaning up after themselves and seeing that trash gets to the correct place to be recycled. Sometimes it helps to add a little incentive.
TrashBack is an up-coming and dynamic company encouraging positive environmental action around waste. Their projects focus strongly on recycling waste and instilling proper waste management behaviour in people in communities and at major outdoor events.
One of their permanent projects is uphinda-phindo! in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay. In exchange for cash vouchers, participants collect and deliver recyclables to a central point. These vouchers can then be redeemed for food or clothing in an informal trading environment. This serves to clean up the community while uplifting and empowering its members in numerous ways.
At TrashBack, they know how important the value of life enrichment is. As many of their participants have never left Imizamo Yethu, they also organise trips, for example to the Cheetah Outreach at Spier, allowing them to experience the beautiful sights and activities around Cape Town.
a challenging task
At outdoor festivals and events, waste management is a challenging task. TrashBack encourages people to collect cigarette butts and recyclables by rewarding them with prizes. Cigarette butts, in particular, pose the biggest problem, as they cannot be swept up and are tedious to be picked up by hand. The thousands of plastic cups and cans distributed by the bars can also be re-used and recycled thus saving costs and raw materials.
At this year’s Up The Creek festival from 31 Jan until 3 Feb,TrashBack had a station in the green zone along with GreenPop and Reliance. As reward for keeping the festival area clean and stompie-free, TrashBack handed out Red Bull, BOS ice tea, Mitchells beer, Rolling stone products, lilos, beach balls and other fun and useful items to everyone who brought cigarette butts, plastic cups, plastic bottles and tin cans to the TrashBack station.
Over and above their usual rewards for recycling campaign the TrashBack team tested a new concept – being environmentally responsible can be fun! To demonstrate this, all plastic bottles collected were used to build a recycled raft in cooperation with Mitchell’s Brewery. The floating couch was entered into the “anything that floats competition” and won a prize for the “most romantic” float!
A total of 58 festivalgoers of all age groups participated. Everyone collected all in all 745 plastic bottles, 681 cans, 361 plastic cups and, believe it or not, roughly 7770 cigarette butts!
The plastic cups will be washed and used again next year to reduce the impact on the environment. All recyclables were handed over to the social business GreenPop that was in charge of the entire waste management for the festival.
This campaign has run successfully at festivals such as Rocking The Daisies, Synergy, Resonance NYE and Up The Creek.
For more details on their projects or to get involved as a volunteer or sponsor, check out their website trashback.org.