The simplest way to make a difference to the environment is to keep it clean and to encourage others to do the same; these are five simple tips to make that happen.
South Africa (22 September 2022) – September is a big month in many ways. Things look greener as trees start to shoot their new leaves. It’s Arbor Month, when communities are encouraged to plant trees. It’s also Clean-Up and Recycle Month, when organisations and volunteers get stuck into cleaning our beaches, rivers, streets, parks and environment. We also celebrate our heritage as South Africans. This heritage includes our country’s beaches, mountains, game reserves and forests, and even in our own communities.
Fibre Circle, the producer responsibility organisation for paper and paper packaging, is one of the many supporters of the Clean-Up and Recycle programme, an initiative pioneered by Plastics SA. Some 500 000 iconic yellow Tuffy bags, made from 100% recycled plastic, have been specially produced for this year’s clean-ups.
“We applaud our partner organisations for their support of cleaning up our country,” says Edith Leeuta, CEO of Fibre Circle. “This should not just happen one week during the year, but should be part of everyday life.
“As citizens, we need to be more conscious of what we do with our waste, whether we are at home, in the park or enjoying time at the beach.”
“We also need to get away from the mindset that throwing rubbish on the ground for someone else to pick it up creates employment,” asserts Leeuta.
Laura shares five ways in which we can keep our country beautiful and clean:
- USE A BIN: Whether you call it ‘udoti’, trash, ‘matlakala’, litter, ‘inkunkuma’, rubbish, ‘vuilgoed’, or garbage, it belongs in a bin. If you cannot find a bin, keep it with you until you do. Do not throw it on the ground for someone else to collect.
- DON’T THROW LITTER WHERE IT DOES NOT BELONG: Do not throw rubbish in road storm water drains. This ends up in rivers and eventually the sea.
- BE PART OF THE CHANGE: Get involved in your own community to keep your own pavement and street clean.
- SEPARATE YOUR WASTE AND RECYCLE: Separate your recyclables from your food waste and other rubbish.
- Paper recyclables need to be kept clean and dry to ensure they can be recycled into new products.
- Compost your food waste, either as a household, with your neighbours, complex or community. This is a great way to enrich food gardens.
- Support your local recycling collector with recyclables that they can sell.
- BE A RESPONSIBLE VOICE IN YOUR COMMUNITY: Share these messages with your family, neighbours, and friends. Report illegal dumping to your ward councillor or municipality, and follow up until it is addressed.
“Cleaner communities are happier and safer for everyone. Let us do what we can to keep our country beautiful and protect her natural heritage,” concludes Leeuta.