Months of planning and dedication to the cause came to fruition today when SPAR Eastern Cape ambassador Sarah Ferguson released the first of a series of videos aimed at securing the world's environmental future. A former South African international swimmer, Ferguson joined SPAR EC's fight against plastic pollution when she became an ambassador in the company's Stop Plastic campaign in June. The association with the retail giant was sparked by a presentation Ferguson, who lives in Durban North, gave after a 58km swim in Hawaii, in which she became aware of the dangers of plastic to the environment. "I came to Port Elizabeth for a meeting and they liked what they saw," she said earlier this year. "Equally I was keen to work with them to promote their Stop Plastic campaign." In April this year, SPAR EC took the bold step of trying to limit the use of plastic in their stores by encouraging consumers to make use of alternative packaging options available at all outlets. In particular, they are focused on limiting single-use plastic, which includes items such as plastic bags. Combining her passion for the environment and her swimming talents, Ferguson's first order of business was a six-day, 100km Elephant Coast swim, which took her from southern Mozambique to northern KwaZulu-Natal. The outcome of that is a documentary she and her team have produced highlighting the dangers of pollution to the world's oceans, which will be posted on Facebook for the next six weeks. The videos, which are each two minutes in length, can be viewed on www.facebook.com/BreatheOcean1 and her website www.breatheconservation.org and will be released on Mondays and Fridays at 11.30am. Ferguson said this was a wonderful opportunity to show what dangers the world faced in terms of ocean pollution. "We are super excited to announce that we will be releasing our docu-series from our Elephant Coast swim, starting today," she said. "We cannot wait to show you behind the . . .
H2O Today Global Water Story opens at the Iziko South African Museum on show from 29 November 2018 Water is the most vital resource for life on Earth; no living thing exists without it. Iziko Museums of South Africa will open a new exhibition, H2O Today, at the Iziko South African Museum on the 29th November 2018. The exhibition, organised by the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES), examines the diversity and challenges of water sources worldwide and promotes conversation, creativity and innovation through art, science and technology. H2O Today is part of the Smithsonian’s #ThinkWater Initiative to raise awareness of water as a critical resource for life. Using immersive content, interactive activities, and digital media, this international exhibition – supplemented with Iziko curated African content and collections objects – brings a global conversation at a critical time within the Western Cape context, having recently experienced the worst water crisis in living memory. H2O Today dives into what it means to live on a planet where 71 percent of the surface is covered in water, of which less than three percent is drinkable. The exhibition highlights water’s criticality in daily life worldwide through water power, industry, agriculture and home use. It explores the science of water from the hydrological cycle, weather and climate to its physical power as an architect and sculptor of landscape. The exhibition showcases global examples and striking imagery augmented with audiovisual material that tells the story of Earth as the water planet, water as our home, ways that water shapes culture, rising tides and sea level rise, and innovative solutions to some of the planet’s greatest water challenges. The US Consul General to Cape Town, Ms Virginia Blaser had first-hand experience of the extraordinary challenge the City and its residents faced during the height of the recent drought. She said: “I am proud that the American people . . .
Engen are giving back by helping to keep our beaches clean ahead of the summer season. Marking the brand’s 25th birthday and a quarter of a century of caring, Engen management and employees decided to spend their ‘anniversary’ out in the community, embarking on a number of clean-up initiatives around the country, including beach clean-up’s in coastal areas and river clean up’s for inland areas. Taking time out of their busy day, approximately 100 Engen employees were transported to Blaauwberg Nature Reserve in Cape Town on 22 November where they spent the morning cleaning the area as part of a drive to help make our beaches cleaner and healthier for all beach goers and marine life. Adhila Hamdulay, Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager says it is important for Engen to actively support and take care of the communities in which the company operates. “Blaauwberg beaches are enjoyed by diverse sections of the community and across all ages. We were very excited to work together as a company and do our part for the environment and keep these beaches clean. “We picked up, broken glass, packets, straws, cigarette lighters and butts, and plastic bottles, which are not biodegradable and very harmful for marine life,” adds Hamdulay. By the end of the day the team managed to fill 46 bags of trash and other environmentally harmful substances. Employees also enjoyed an informative environmental talk with Senior People and Conservation Officer, Elzette Krynauw and her team who provided some invaluable tips and insights: Always put your litter in the bin or take it home with you and bin it later; Try not to use plastic straws; Remember to always Refuse, Reduce and Recycle; and Either re-use your plastic shopping bags or use material bags Did you know: The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve has a spectacular view down fynbos slopes from Blaauwberg Hill, across the city, to seven kilometres of rocky, sandy coastline, the ocean and beyond. Blaauwberg Hill, . . .
The cleaning industry has the potential for extraordinary growth - an opinion by Mahlatholle Masha, Financial Director, Servest Cleaning Division Johannesburg, 23 November 2018 - As an industry, which is estimated to be worth around R6 - 10 billion, the cleaning business is one that has the most extraordinary potential for growth. The nature of the work is such, that it requires only low level skills and this seems to give the impression that it is an easy business to establish. It is therefore no wonder that there are a multitude of start-ups emerging in the industry. However, Mahlatholle Masha, Financial Director of Servest’s Cleaning division, cautions against this notion of it being an easy business, because with it comes industry standards, compliance matters, health and safety issues and not least, the responsibility of running a business. The latter coming with its own challenges, with regard to human resources and its associated matters. Despite the challenges, the cleaning sector’s growth potential stems from large organisations wanting to focus their efforts on their core business and therefore outsource their cleaning services to cleaning companies. These cleaning companies are expected to not only be fully equipped to fulfil the tasks, but to do so within the bounds of compliance, such as the use of environmentally friendly products and using equipment that reduces water wastage, or entirely eliminating the use of water. Technology and innovation hereby plays an important role in the continued growth and development in the cleaning industry, to the benefit of its clients. We see cleaning companies having to currently provide customised and unique solutions to clients, in order to differentiate themselves. However, in the near future, it will also have to provide sustainability reports, to ensure that the cleaning methods and its associated products do not adversely affect the environment. These specialised products and services are . . .
A joint collaboration between Seadog Sport, Plastics|SA and DPI Plastics has led to the creation of a new retrieval project aimed at reducing the amount of plastics sticks and straws found on the beaches of South Africa. According to John Kieser, Sustainability Manager at Plastics|SA, plastic sticks such as those typically used for earbuds, sucker/lollypops and straws, continue to be one of the biggest pollutants on our country's urban beaches. “We’ve had great success with removing discarded fishing line from beaches with our Fishing Line Bins which are made from PVC pipes donated by DPI Plastics. These bins were installed at beaches along South Africa's coastline and encourage anglers to properly discard their fishing line instead of leaving it on the beach where it could entangle birds and sea life. Building on the success of this project, close to 400 ‘lolly bins’ (made from PVC pipe off-cuts that were again donated by DPI Plastics) are being installed at selected Blue Flag beaches as well as other coastal areas throughout South Africa,” Kieser says. The white lolly bins are easily visible and the black and brightly coloured labels highlight their usage. According to Kieser, members of the public are urged to help pick up any of these sticks they see lying on the beaches and throw them into the bins. “These sticks are made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP), polymers which are both recycled in South Africa. If enough of these sticks are collected, they can be used to create a wide range of different products, such as non-food grade packaging, rope, toys, piping, recycling bins and other household items,” he explains. “Seadog Sport is a company with community interests close to our heart, and we work closely with charities and organisations to improve lives through surfing rehabilitation and marine conservation activities. Reducing plastic waste on our beaches and in oceans is a major focus for us and we are excited about . . .
CAPE TOWN – AMID mounting pressure on major retailers and brand owners to be more environmentally-minded, one of the country’s leading food packaging producers have become the first in the PET thermoform plastics sector to join voluntary national Extended Producer Responsibility body the PET Recycling Company (PETCO). The move signals a changing sentiment among producers amid a tidal wave of pressure from government and civil society for retailers and brand owners – as well as their suppliers – to account for the end-use of products and packaging by ensuring they can be recycled either into their original form or used in alternative markets. RPC Astrapak Thermopac has become the first in the PET thermoform plastics sector – responsible for products such as lightweight sandwich and fruit trays, which account for just under 20% of PET products nationwide – to sign on with PETCO, which until now has been supported primarily by the PET bottle sector. “PETCO has been engaging the PET thermoform sector since our incorporation in 2004,” said PETCO CEO Cheri Scholtz. “This is a welcome move so that together we can find sustainable solutions for these [thermoform] products going forward.” Although thermoform products are not currently recycled in South Africa – a trend mirrored globally due to their complex make-up – the move by RPC Astrapak Thermopac indicates a shift in producer sentiment towards proactively seeking solutions to ensure the sustainability of their products and minimising any environmental impact. GROWING PRESSURE ON PRODUCERS According to Professor Linda Godfrey, a researcher with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and PETCO board member, “RPC Astrapak Thermopac joining the PETCO voluntary Extended Producer Responsibility [EPR] scheme is the next step towards fulfilling their responsibilities”. “There is growing pressure being exerted on producers and brand owners globally, by governments and civil society, to take . . .
A strict adherence to a quality product has seen Inyoni Homes CC win another top award for its construction of homes at Renishaw Hills, a mature lifestyle estate on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. At the recent Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Annual Awards event, hosted at the Durban International Conference Centre, Inyoni Homes was awarded for its Renishaw Hills maisonettes in the Apartments/Townhouses under R15m category. The annual awards recognise and celebrate excellence in construction within the KwaZulu-Natal Construction industry. Through the awards, the Master Builders Association prioritises the promotion and development of the industry and seeks to create a culture of excellence in the province. Master Builders Association executive director, Vikashnee Harbhajan, said: “The Excellence in Construction competition is intended to put the spotlight on quality workmanship, and professional standards displayed by members of the association. Our members are committed to achieving and maintaining high performance standards, and this is proudly showcased by the association.” Inyoni Homes was one of 22 companies that submitted 39 entries in the Excellence in Construction competition. The entries received were for projects situated around Durban and Pietermaritzburg and as far inland as Newcastle. This is the second annual award for a Renishaw Hills’ construction – in 2017, Inyoni Homes and R&M Construction won the 2017 Apartment/Town House Buildings (above R15m) Awards category for the construction of two show houses at Renishaw Hills. “We are extremely honoured and proud of our staff and sub-contractors,” said Nic Moussouris, owner of Inyoni Homes. “To win two years in a row for Renishaw Hills is a remarkable achievement, and it is only as a result of a team effort - from management down to the labourer on site – that we are able to create a quality product we are proud to have built.” The award-winning Renishaw Hills’ type A maisonettes include a . . .
PORT ELIZABETH – JOB creation, innovation and poverty alleviation are just some of the major achievements by several Nelson Mandela Bay recycling initiatives, making a tangible difference at a grassroots level in communities. This is being celebrated by the PET Recycling Company (PETCO), the national recycling body for PET plastics, in the form of an “inspiration session” to be held in the Bay on November 21 (5-7pm). The two-hour event will honour several recycling initiatives in the city that are making strides not only in PET plastic recycling but also in uplifting communities. PETCO is encouraging members of the public to attend the event to learn more about the unique and life-changing initiatives taking place throughout the city. . “There are many incredible things happening on a daily basis in the recycling industry in South Africa, which are driven by a remarkable network of people,” said PETCO chief executive officer Cheri Scholtz. “These people deserve to be recognised and celebrated as innovative entrepreneurs, employers, and champions in their own right, who do good for the environment and their communities through the work they do in the recycling industry.” . Scholtz said the PETCO Inspiration Sessions were intended as a public platform for the organisation’s partners to share how they were working towards transforming the recycling sector. “We encourage the public to attend and hear from people who are passionate about PET recycling and its potential to change lives. You are guaranteed to look at it with new eyes – either as a consumer or as a would-be entrepreneur in the field.” Included in the line-up of speakers are Dr Tony Ribbink of the African Marine Waste Network, the Uitenhage Recycling Mula Swop-Shop’s Quinette Goosen, and Cannibal Recycling’s Leon van der Watt. Anyone interested in attending the event at Chicky’s Yard in Ellis Street, Baakens Valley, can RSVP by emailing PETCO at email@example.com. Tickets cost R100 . . .
PORT ELIZABETH – GOOD rain in recent weeks has relieved some pressure for Eastern Cape farmers, but with cash flows all but exhausted thanks to the drought, the future is still far from certain. According to Agri Eastern Cape president Doug Stern, farmers in the province have been under great pressure for four concurrent seasons, in which they have received “way below average rainfall”. “The recent rains were great news for some, with the level of the Kouga Dam rising from an unsustainable 7% to over 50%,” said Stern. “But while that takes the pressure off farmers in the Hankey/Patensie area, who are reliant on that water to produce crops from potatoes to citrus, it does not help the rest of the province, especially the northern areas where there are huge problems due to the extremely cold weather experienced in August and September. “The late, unexpected cold weather was not conducive to vegetation growth. That, and also there is a desperate need for follow-up rains.”Stern pointed out that, due to the drought, many farmers’ cash flows had been exhausted. “The only thing which saved many farmers from going under is the huge increase in commodity prices for red meat, fibre and citrus [creating higher revenue for cash-strapped farmers]. Without that increase, results would have been disastrous for all concerned,” he said. “The downside, of course, is the effect on already hard-hit consumers, with these prices expected to remain inflated for at least five years as farmers try to rebuild their herds.” CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
100 MARATHONS IN 100 DAYS: RUNNER MINA GULI SPOTLIGHTS GLOBAL WATER CRISIS World Faces 40 Percent Shortage of Water in 12 years; #RunningDry Campaign Raises Awareness, Urges Change At yesterday’s New York Marathon, water advocate and ultra-runner Mina Guli laced up her running shoes to call attention to the global water crisis by starting her mammoth project of running 100 marathons in 100 days for one reason – water. The world is facing a projected 40% shortfall between supply and demand for water by 2030 – just 12 years from now. The #RunningDry campaign will see the former lawyer and investment banker travel around the world while running a marathon a day to tell some of the world’s most pressing water stories as well highlight the everyday heroes working to solve this problem. #RunningDry launched at the New York City Marathon yesterday, November 4. Over the course of the expedition, Mina will run in England, France, Italy, Uzbekistan and the Aral Sea, India, Hong Kong, China, Dubai, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Australia, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico, before she completes the expedition by running across the United States to finish her 100th marathon in New York City on February 11, 2019. “My runs are a call to the world to join together to save water,” explains Mina. “The water we need to live, to survive, is running out. We’re calling this #RunningDry because we need to bring home the severity of the crisis we are facing. It is for this reason that I have chosen to do the unthinkable: running 100 marathons in 100 days around the world to show what a 100% commitment to water looks like. We can all help solve the world’s water crisis. Each one of us is able to make a difference.” Mina, a 48-year old Australian who is based in Hong Kong, is no stranger to long runs. The #RunningDry Expedition follows the 2016 7 Deserts campaign and the 6 River Run in 2017, which saw Mina complete the equivalent of 40 marathons in 40 . . .