In the Saldanha Bay Municipality there is a new initiative to encourage lower-income areas to participate more in recycling by feeding hungry children in return.
Since 2016, the Saldanha Bay Municipality’s kerbside recycling collection service has been running well, reaching over 40% participation of households in middle and upper-income suburbs. However, in high-density, lower-income areas, average participation is below 15%.
The Recycling Enterprise and Education Project (REEP) encourages residents in George Kerridge to participate in recycling by helping to feed a hungry child. In exchange for each bag of recyclables given by households to the mobile collector, a donation will be made to the Masiphathisane Primary School feeding fund.
Co-sponsoring the pilot with Pick n Pay’s ‘People and Planet’ sustainability programme, is PETCO, the PET Recycling Company NPC. PETCO sponsored a street trolley cart which the recycling collector will use to tour the area.
A donation to the school will be made on behalf of Pick n Pay for each bag of recyclables given to the collector. The collector is a resident of George Kerridge, hereby providing a local job creation component to the project.
As a pilot, the project will run for three to six months. If successful, the aim is to continue it and later expand to other areas of the municipality.
Creating employment while feeding young minds
The REEP project aligns with the circular economy – diverting valuable waste materials from landfill into the recycling industry, reducing energy and resource use, and creating employment – while also helping to feed young learners at school.
Pick n Pay believes doing good is good business. In March 2020 the nation went into complete lockdown due to COVID-19 and the most vulnerable among us, like children normally fed though a school feeding scheme; the homeless, elderly and disabled – were left even more vulnerable than before. There was a massive need to bring relief where it was needed most, and Feed the Nation was born.
It has since become a full-fledged Foundation making a daily difference across South Africa. With just R21, someone can be fed for a week. So far, thanks to the generosity of Pick n Pay customers, corporates, suppliers, local and international donors, the Foundation has been able to distribute over 28 million meals and raised over R136 million.
Environmental solutions for post-consumer PET plastic
PETCO is the trading name of the PET Recycling Company NPC, a company incorporated in 2004 to represent the South African PET plastic industry’s joint effort to self-regulate post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling.
The PET plastics industry acknowledges that the convenience and life-saving qualities of plastics aside, a solution for post-consumer plastic packaging is critical in order to minimise its impact on the environment.
To achieve this everyone involved, from the raw material producers, the converters, brand owners, retailers, consumers and recyclers are playing their part in the solution, with PETCO fulfilling the PET industry’s role of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
EPR promotes the integration of environmental costs associated with PET products throughout their life cycles into the market costs of the products, and shifts responsibility for the used container from government to private industry.
Operating throughout South Africa, PETCO is financed by a voluntary recycling levy paid by converters on PET resin purchased. They also also receive grants from brand owners, resin producers and retailers. Support for PET recycling efforts ensures an ongoing monetary value for post-consumer PET. This sustains collection interest and reduces the volume of post-consumer PET in the waste stream.
By taking responsibility for post-consumer PET recycling, PETCO imposes accountability over the entire life cycle of PET products and packaging. This means that companies that manufacture, import and/or sell PET products and packaging are financially and physically responsible for such products after their useful life.
Ongoing consumer and public education and awareness activities promote environmental responsibility and encourage PET recycling.