September was an exciting month for South Africa, as Clean-Up and Recycle Week happened again from 12 – 16 September.
During this time, the PETCO team was spread across the country doing training, community clean-ups, and educating future recyclers.
It is against this background that AECI has again participated in World Clean Up Day when individuals and organisations are called to action in terms of making our world a cleaner and safer place.
This year, AECI’s efforts were focused on three provinces: a multi-party clean-up in the Free State, and beach clean-ups in both the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
In the Free State, the company collaborated with multiple key stakeholders from the private sector, government at local and provincial levels, and civil society.
These collaborative activities included:
- Clearing waste from two illegal dumping sites adjacent to the Theha Setjhaba Primary School and the SAVF Kammaland nursery school; waste recycling awareness training for the community.
- Theha Setjhaba Primary School received a vegetable garden tunnel. This is in line with AECI’s sustainability goals in terms of delivering Better Food Systems;
- The greenbelt area used by the SAVF Kammaland nursery school will be beautified.
This year, AECI partnered with big industry players such as SASOL, Safripol, PETCO, Averda, Eskom and local municipalities to collaborate on various initiatives to encourage and drive a cleaner environment in the Zamdela and Vanderbylpark areas.
From 15-16 September AECI and these partners put together multiple activities to clean up, plant vegetable gardens and educate society about waste management in celebration of World Clean Up Day.
Recycle week did not end there for AECI. They partnered with PETCO on the 27th of September in the Somerset West community for a clean-up in Macassar. PETCO provided training on how to best collect their recyclables, and the PET bottle recycling process and joined in on community cleanup. The cleanup was hosted by a community leader, she was joined by fellow women and children of the community and the local government councilor.
Amajuba Recycling Week
PETCO in collaboration with Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), and Counsel for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) hosted a two-day workshop for the Amajuba District community. This workshop aimed to initiate new programmes for the Amajuba District to support local recyclers and waste pickers.
Chief Albert Luthuli
Moving to Mpumalanga, PETCO in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA), Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), and Plastics|SA held a recycling workshop focusing on collector support, as well as advising collectors on best practices when it comes to waste collection. This was a two-day programme that was held in conjunction with two PETCO-supported projects: Bophelo Recycling and Hendrina Recycling.
FutureMe World of Work
PETCO teamed up with our recycling partner Extrupet, for FutureMe’s World of Work Exhibition at Grand West. FutureMe is a social enterprise that addresses youth unemployment and critical skills gaps by engaging with young people, employers, and other relevant stakeholders. The World of Work Exhibition aimed to connect the youth with career opportunities within the Green Economy. This exhibition was truly remarkable as PETCO had the opportunity to educate the youth of today about the different ways they can become involved with the recycling industry as well as what they can do to make a difference today.
Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality conducted a Clean-up and Recycling SA Week for 6 days. PETCO supported the initiative with 5 000 PETCO-branded bags to assist the municipality with waste collection. The Week commenced on the 12th of September and concluded on the 17 of September 2022, this included the River Clean-Up Day (Wednesday, 14 September), National Recycling Day (Friday, 16 September), and the ICC/World Clean Up Day (Saturday, 17 September).
The initiative’s goals included educating and ensuring that the community has a better grasp of waste management and recycling activities, as well as encouraging all parties to clean the places where they work, live, and play by collecting rubbish and recycling it. Working Together for a Cleaner Environment.
World Clean-up & International Coastal Clean-up Day
PETCO was invited to join Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages alongside their partners The Beach Co-op, and TWYG to do a coastal clean-up of Robben Island for International Coastal Clean-up Day. The event included over 150 volunteers who picked up bags of recyclables and litter. The day also included an educational tour of the island and the infamous prison.
For World clean-up day, Mosselbank River Conservation and its partners, along with PETCO hosted a clean-up in the Fisantekraal community. PETCO also supplied Mosselbank River Conservation with some spot prizes (including items made from recycled PET bottles) that were handed out. These included caps, buff, bags and flash drives. The clean-up was predominately done by children, and they did an amazing job of collecting 218 bags of waste equaling to 863.1 kg.