Cape Town, November 2017: The Public institution mandated to promote and ensure biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape, CapeNature has made positive progress over the 2016/2017 financial year despite growing concerns over climate change. Some concerns in the local media surfaced after the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Heritage Outlook 2 – an update of the 2014 IUCN World Heritage Outlook report was released this month. The report indicates that, globally, the number of natural World Heritage sites threatened by climate change has grown from 35 to 62 in just three years and that in particular, certain conservation authorities mandated to manage part of the Cape Floral Kingdom Protected Area World Heritage Site in South Africa face major challenges. The report also reveals that the management of natural World Heritage sites internationally has dropped in quality and effectiveness since 2014, notably due to insufficient funding. Fewer than half of the sites are currently being managed to good standards. Here in the Western Cape, CapeNature’s stance analysis in the soon to be released Provincial State of Biodiversity Report 2017 is that the biggest immediate threat is in fact habitat lost by agriculture and transforming land for development. Climate change and degradation of habitat by aliens is a concern but at the moment, few species have been shown to be directly impacted by climate change (Widdringtonia cederbergensis). The state of the organisation’s priority areas for biodiversity conservation is not only focused on Critical Biodiversity Areas where there has been shown to be hectares lost but also areas not lost yet in an unprotected natural state. These are being lost in spite of our regulatory safety net, considered forward planning for the expansion of the protected area estate, private stewardship or benign neglect. Thus a major loss to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service delivery. However, the . . .
The life of 5-year old Buhlebenkosi Mene from Kraaifontein was forever changed thanks to the donation of a much-needed wheelchair that was purchased for her through the Breadtags for Wheelchairs Project and the WP Stormers Rugby team. Buhlebenkosi was born with Spina Bifida – a birth defect that occurs when the vertebrae don't form properly around part of the baby's spinal cord. “She won’t ever be able to walk and I have to carry Buhle everywhere we need to go. She is growing and getting too heavy for me, but we don’t have the money to buy a wheelchair for her,” explained her mother, Zikhona Mene. Each year, close to 300 wheelchairs are handed over to recipients thanks to the collection of the breadtags which are made of high impact polystyrene (HIPS). These plastic closures have a high recycling value and the Polystyrene Association has established a network of buyers around the country who have agreed to pay R8.00 for each kilogram of bread tags. Once enough tags have been collected to cover the cost of the wheelchair selected, this money is then paid over to the pharmacy or wheelchair supplier of their choice. “DB Janse van Rensburg is a Grade 11 pupil at the Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch and one of our most enthusiastic collectors,” explains Adri Spangenberg, Director of the Polystyrene Association and administrator of the Breadtags for Wheelchairs Project. “He heard about Buhle’s plight and encouraged his fellow pupils, the local community and the Stormers rugby team to become involved through his friendship with Stormers flyhalf and ex-Paul Roos pupil, Damian Willemse,”she said. A temporary wheelchair was handed over to an excited Buhle at the Tygerberg Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities by Van Rensburg and Willemse. “Because it is important to ensure that the correct wheelchair is purchased when seating quadriplegics, the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) assesses the requirements of each wheelchair recipients and . . .
On the 11 November, Crocworld Conservation Centre will be hosting it's final conservation talk for the year which will be presented by Pamela Le Noury. Pam is a Marine scientist, PADI dive instructor zodiac skipper and sailor, and has worked in and on the ocean just about every day for the past 17 years and her talk will focus on ocean conservation. After leaving school Pam worked in the diving industry whilst studying a BSc in zoology and physiology. In that time she became quite involved in shark, dolphin and whale research through tourism, and started her own whale watching and charter boat business. “We look forward to ending off our 2017 conservation talks on a high note with Pamela Le Noury and can't wait to hear the knowledge she has to share regarding ocean conservation. We would like to thank all monthly conservation talk attendees for their support throughout the year. The next series of monthly lectures will resume in February 2018," commented Crocworld Conservation Centre spokesperson Martin Rodrigues. Pam has participated in several marine research projects and voyages, and went to sea full time in 2008 in the Expedition Cruise industry, specializing as a marine guide in remote wilderness destinations. She has since travelled to over 120 countries and worked many seasons in the Antarctic and Arctic, South Pacific and, her first love, the Indian Ocean. She became Expedition Leader in 2012 and published three smartphone apps; ‘sharks & rays’, ‘whales & dolphins’ and ‘Antarctic Wildlife’. Pam is now Head of Expedition Operations at Noble Caledonia and still spends most of her time at sea, teaching people about the oceans and conservation through her travels. Tickets for the talk will cost R75 per adult and R35 for pensioners. Registration and welcoming will begin from 8:30am and the talk will commence at 9:00am. Tickets will entitle guests to complimentary teas and coffees, as well as access to the Crocworld Conservation Centre’s vast . . .
What is white, light, considered of high value and, although made up almost entirely of air, is in very high demand? If you guessed polystyrene, you’d be 100% correct! According to Adri Spangenberg, Director of the Polystyrene Association, expanded polystyrene is one of South Africa’s most commonly used materials relied upon by canteens and spaza shops owners and restauranteurs to keep their food or beverages hot or cold, as well as by retailers to protect high value items such as televisions or fridges owing to the material’s excellent insulation properties. “Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is also widely used by supermarkets to transport and pack their perishable food products such as meat, fruit and vegetables owing to the fact that polystyrene offers excellent insulation properties, extends the shelf life of food and protects its contents thus reducing spoilage or damage,” she explains. Polystyrene consists of 96% air, which makes it incredibly lightweight. Whilst it is a positive attribute that greatly reduces carbon emissions during transportation, it also causes polystyrene products to easily be blown away by wind where it becomes visible litter found on beaches or along roadsides. “Few people are aware that polystyrene is a valuable resource that is readily recycled in South Africa. Waste Management companies collect and supply post-consumer and post-industrial polystyrene products such as meat trays, hamburger clamshells and coffee cups to recyclers who use it to manufacture stationery, hangers, picture frames, cornices, curtain rods and skirtings. “In the most recent development it is mixed with a special cement mixture for use in building and construction,” Adri states. Because of the development of these end-markets, the demand from recyclers currently outstrips the supply of the materials. To this end, South Africans are urged to remember to include their polystyrene into their clear recycling bags to prevent this valuable resource . . .
More than $94-million (ZAR1.258 billion) in capital investments have been made by industry heavyweights such as ABInbev, Coca-Cola Southern Africa, Nampak Bevcan and Hulamin to convert the beverage can industry from steel to aluminium. Not only did this step bring the region in line with other major markets such as the United States - which changed to aluminium cans in the 1970s and 1980s – but it also had a major, positive impact on the industry’s recycling statistics. According to MetPac-SA, the industry body representing the interests of the local metal packaging industry, the recycling rate for used beverage cans in South Africa grew significantly from only 18 % in 1993 to its present rate of around 72%. The organisation’s CEO, Delanie Bezuidenhout, believes that South Africa’s conversion to aluminium played an important role in increasing recycling volumes because aluminium beverage cans are infinitely recyclable without loss of strength or quality, and offer collectors an attractive rate. “This makes aluminium recovery and recycling an economically-viable option for beverage can collectors in the informal sector. Millions of Rands flows into the scrap metals and recycling industry each year, allowing an additional 2 000 to 3 000 people to earn a living or to supplement low incomes,” Bezuidenhout says. With a long tradition of continuous improvement and business excellence, Nampak Bevcan has become a preferred beverage can manufacturer in sub-Saharan Africa. With manufacturing plants located in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Angola and Nigeria, Nampak Bevcan commissioned South Africa’s first aluminium beverage can production line at its Springs plant. By end-2014, all of their Gauteng can production lines were being converted to aluminium cans, completing the transition from steel to aluminium cans in just a few years. Initially only two aluminium lines were running, but soon all three lines were operational to meet the demand – allowing the . . .
The South African plastics and packaging industries managed to raise an incredible R45 000 during last week’s Propak Cape Exhibition by inviting companies and individuals to pledge funds for a much needed seabird hospital at SANCCOB’s Cape Town centre. According to Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics|SA, leaders in the packaging industry and individuals did not hesitate to dig deep into their pockets for the #Ipledgesustainability campaign when they visited the Packaging SA / Sustainability pavilion where the fundraising took place. “Our sincere thanks to Nampak, Pailpac, Polyoak Packaging, Extrupet, Tetrapak, Polyco, Bené Water, SANBWA, PETCO and Gundle Plastics for pledging towards the SANCCOB Saves Seabirds Project. We are very proud of the funds that we managed to raise in only three days,” Steyn said. By purchasing a R50 raffle ticket on the stand, individuals could win one of two picnic tables made from recycled plastic, courtesy of Tufflex Plastic Products. Francois Louw, Fundraising and Marketing Manager for SANCCOB, confirmed that the funds raised will help them take a big step towards reaching their target of R5 million needed for the new facility. “Our seabird centre in Table View has been in operation for 33 years and has served the needs of more than 95 000 seabirds. However, the elderly buildings and facilities are now in desperate need of renovation. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of the plastics and packaging industries this past week which will help us build a new and better seabird hospital”. Apart from increasing SANCCOB’s capacity (they currently admit around 2000 seabird patients every year), the upgrade will also include a surgery, an Intensive Care Unit, a new X-ray room, laboratory, three new pools, an aviary, as well as several new pens and preparation areas when construction is completed at the end of 2017. “Seabirds and penguins are often the first casualties when disasters such as oil- or pollution . . .
Johannesburg, Gauteng, 26 October 2017 – KaChing, the innovative ticketless way to pay for your parking, announced today that they are expanding their footprint of retail parking sites. Customers at the Mall of Africa will be able to pay for their parking using KaChing as of Thursday 26th October 2017. KaChing uses automatic number plate recognition cameras and smartphone app technology to make paying for parking so much more convenient. "KaChing offers all people who park a massively more convenient way to pay for your parking. You no longer need to take a parking ticket, you don’t need cash, there are no queues to pay, and you have no hassle with change or lost tickets.” Says Mike Clark, Business Development Executive of KaChing. KaChing allows parking customers to use flexible payment options such as pre-pay, top up or credit card payment to securely pay for their parking. In addition to ease of payment, the app also gives customers the security to track their parking activity online, and the option to connect multiple vehicles to one account. KaChing first launched on a commercial pilot basis in 2016, and is available at Melrose Arch, Thrupps and Morningside Shopping Centres in Johannesburg to mention only a few of the growing list of properties offering ticketless and cashless parking solutions Clark goes to say “We are also proud of the fact that in the past year, there have been zero car thefts from KaChing users. Our technology significantly improves your vehicle’s security while you park. The pre-paid option is also proving a winner with 60% of our users paying through pre-paid.” Signing up for KaChing is easy and effortless; you can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. All you need to do is register with your vehicle number plate, load your pre-paid account, or choose the credit card option. It is a simple drive IN drive OUT experience. The number plate recognition cameras at each entry and exit automatically pick you . . .
Simon and Siouxsie from Snake City on call for KZN snake rescues. Save this number – it could save a life! 060 633 6054 As the temperatures rise and summer approaches, KwaZulu-Natal residents are more likely to come across snakes in their homes and gardens as the reptilian creatures become more active. It’s at this point that qualified snake handlers need to be alerted to assist with the safe removal of snakes and, for those living in and around Durban, renowned snake rescuers Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett, are just a call away. The snake handling duo, who feature in the popular Nat Geo Wild television show, Snake City, have already been alerted to many snake callouts in the past few weeks. Anticipating the upcoming surge in snake activity, the herpetologists have advised on the steps to take when spotting a snake. “If a snake is found inside the house then the first thing to do is close the door, cover any gaps with a rolled up towel, and close all the windows if at all possible,” advised Siouxsie. “If this means approaching the snake, then rather just keep a safe distance and focus on ensuring all pets and children are kept away. Giving a description of the snake is always helpful for the snake catchers but a person’s safety is priority so don’t get too close!” In the case of a snake found outside the property, then they’re usually best left alone unless there is a serious concern for safety. In that instance, all animals and children should be kept away and someone should keep an eye on the snake until an expert arrives. The eMdloti-based couple are currently filming another season of Snake City, an Earth Touch production that follows the charismatic couple as they attend to daring snake rescues. As soon as a call for a snake comes in, the film crew – all of whom live in close proximity – is quickly assembled and the Snake City team head out to attend to the call, all of which is filmed. In the run-up to filming the new season, they have already . . .
Packaging has become part of a worldwide drive by plastics leaders to reduce the amount of plastic pellets ending up in rivers and ultimately in the ocean, by signing a pledge to prevent resin pellet, flake and powder loss as part of Plastics|SA’s Operation Clean Sweep. Attending the signing ceremony that took place at Polyoak Packaging’s regional head office in Cape Town, were Jacques Lightfoot, Sustainability Manager at Plastics|SA, Stuart Allen (Operations Manager), Rowan le Roux (Sustainability Manager) and Jeremy Mackintosh, Group Managing Director at Polyoak Packaging. Explaining the importance of making a public declaration to prevent pellet loss, Mackintosh said: “Polyoak is proud to be one of the country’s biggest manufacturers of plastic packaging. Because we use large quantities of plastic pellets and flakes on a daily basis to produce items such as plastic bottles, closures and containers, it is important that we adhere to strict environmental standards and take a leading role as a responsible producer. By signing the Operation Clean Sweep pledge, we want to highlight our commitment to making zero pellet loss a priority by ensuring that pellets are kept out of the natural environment, including waterways and oceans”. Douw Steyn, Plastics?SA Sustainability Director explained that ingesting plastic items, such as pellets, could affect the ability of seabirds, turtles and fish to breathe, swallow or digest foods properly. “Whilst the public is responsible for proper recycling and disposal of consumer products and packaging, the responsibility to contain plastic pellets firmly rests on the shoulders of the plastic industry,” he said. To this end, Plastics|SA has been promoting Operation Clean Sweep to the industry, developed resource materials for its members and is in the process of developing systems aimed at containing plastics since it launched the initiative on World Oceans Day (8 June) at the uShaka Marine World in Durban earlier this . . .
• Clariant Southern Africa is devoted to creating value with innovative and sustainable solutions for customers • Clariant is committed to a sustainable and ethical way of doing business • The world’s leading specialty chemicals companies, Clariant is No.2 in the Europe index and top 4th sustainable chemical sector company in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) Johannesburg, Friday 20th October 2017 - According to the Global Reporting Initiative, an international NGO producing the most widely used standards for sustainability reporting, 93 percent of the world’s 250 largest companies report on their sustainability performance. While currently most companies still publish these voluntary reports as separate supplements to their annual financial reports, there is an emerging trend among businesses to switch to “integrated reporting”. Chemical companies around the globe are increasingly coming to recognize not just the costs, but also the opportunities of steering their business towards greater overall sustainability – creating solid long-term value for themselves and their stakeholders across the entire triple bottom line. As one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies, sustainability is a prerequisite for Clariant’s growth in the long term. While financial performance is important, Clariant believes it can only have true and lasting value when achieved in harmony with the world – the planet we live on and the people the company works with or who expect a better life from what the company does. By deeply ingraining sustainability issues throughout its corporate reporting suite, the company strives to communicate openly and transparently with all stakeholders. “Clariant Southern Africa is committed to creating value for its stakeholders by addressing global trends and tailoring them to suit the challenges presented in the South African economy to provide sustainable and innovative products and solutions while maintaining high levels of . . .