Plastic Problem
Photo Credit: GOBY - Recycled plastic desks

An initiative is helping solve the plastic problem and leaving behind a trail of positivity. Not only are those involved committed to clean-ups, they also help turn the waste into educational resources like desks and sports equipment!


South Africa (04 December 2023) — There is an abundance of places plastic can go to become a force of progress. Killing two birds with one stone (the plastic problem and schools being under-resourced) is the Global Organisation 4 Brighter Youth (GOBY) who are on a mission to give plastic a positive impact.

For just under a year, GOBY has travelled thousands of kilometres (nearly 27,000) to clear and collect over 11,000 kilograms of plastic. Their roadshow has taken them from Umlazi to Mpumalanga Rocks, and they’ve left several communities and spaces better off than when they arrived. But, their mission is about more than clean-ups alone.

They have teamed up with UNICEF South Africa and the Department of Basic Education to make more moments of edu-power possible in South Africa.

Their work is fueled by four pillars, aptly dubbed ‘C.A.R.E’: Community, Active, Repurpose, and Educate. Through this, they merge environmental activism, awareness, education and pay the waste forward by repurposing what is collected into much-needed educational resources.

A big part of all of this is knowledge sharing. The repurposing pillar for one, empowers learners on the importance of re-using and recycling while passing on the know-how of upcycling so that goods like sports equipment can be made.

Through partnerships, GOBY is also able to turn the collected plastic into other educational tools, including desks.

Further, teachers also get to become students and are up-skilled to become Phys0Ed-ready through SACE-accredited programmes.

This is another group of everyday heroes taking action on the problems that plague all of us, but will impact the future of the youngest generations the most.

Meanwhile, in other good news of plastic being used for purpose; Tops & Tags for Wheelchairs received a bakkie load of bottle tops which pay it forward as a lifeline for people in need.

Sources: Website Submission; GOBY 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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