The local plastics industry will once again demonstrate its commitment to cleaning up the environment and removing plastics litter from rivers, streams, oceans and neighbourhoods when the annual Clean-up and Recycle SA Week takes place from 16-21 September 2019. According to Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director of Plastics|SA, this is the 23rd year that they will be involved in this initiative.
“This week will culminate in Recycling Day (Friday, 20 September 2019) and South Africa’s participation in the International Coastal Clean-Up and the Let’s Do It! World Clean-Up (Saturday, 21 September). Last year, this clean-up event attracted 17 million volunteers from 158 countries, who participated in clean-ups that took place around the globe on the same day. Despite six tropical cyclones, ongoing wars, conflicts and unrest, this was the largest organised clean-up that has ever taken place in a timespan of 36 hours. South Africa was proud to be part of this global event and we look forward to once again doing our bit to create immediate, and hopefully, lasting change this year,” Steyn says.
“Clean-up and Recycle SA Week began as a project of the plastics industry and Ezemvelo/KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, in 1996. Since then, it has grown to include the participation of all the packaging streams (i.e. paper, glass, metal and tetra packaging) as well as the support of major plastic raw material suppliers, converters, brand owners and retailers, PRO’s (Product Responsibility Organisations), recycling bodies, conservationists and government. During this week, we all unite our actions around the common goal of removing as much litter as we possibly can from our environment. We also aim to teach South Africans how to dispose of their waste in a responsible way by highlighting the importance of recycling materials that can be used to create new products, generate employment and reduce our impact on the environment,” he adds.
Communities, businesses, schools, environmental groups and government departments are encouraged to host their own clean-ups in the areas where they work, live or play. Where possible, Plastics|SA will support these activities by donating branded garbage disposal bags as well as offering advice on how to organise a clean-up, where and how to recycle. Moreover, the plastics industry body helps to raise awareness of these events by listing them on the Clean-Up and Recycle SA website.