There is a real need for proper waste management solutions in South Africa, and plastics recycling play a key role, despite the negative perceptions surrounding the material.
According to Plastics SA, the biggest challenges are ensuring the accessibility of the recycling environment to communities and finding more end markets for the recycled material.
There is a lot of negative publicity regarding plastics, and some believe society should ban plastics altogether, said Plastics|SA sustainability director Douw Steyn during the annual environmental initiative Clean-Up and Recycle SA Week.
This suggestion is unrealistic, and that the negative perception regarding plastics is unreasonable, as plastics are not inherently bad, he added.
“Plastics make our modern life possible. Cell phones, computers, televisions, cars and even clothing use plastics. They are safe, reusable, recyclable, durable and lightweight.”
“Plastic-associated waste and litter result from human activities and people should strive to become responsible users of plastic, and ‘reduce, reuse and recycle.’”
Participation in a sustainable initiative in the Clean-Up and Recycle SA Week will likely develop good recycling habits and assist people in becoming responsible users of plastic.
Clean-Up and Recycle SA Week, taking part from 11 to 17 September this year, includes various clean-ups that are planned for schools, neighbourhoods, water sources, and beaches around the country.
Every year, volunteers participate in the clean-up activities that take place along roadsides and rivers, at schools, and residential and illegal dumping areas.
The aim is to increase awareness of the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling. Communities are encouraged to clean up the areas where they work, live and play by collecting the litter and ensuring, where possible, that it gets recycled.
The initiative is supported by provincial governments, local municipalities, environmental organisations, businesses, schools, and communities.
Read more on this topic on engineeringnews.co.za.
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