SPAR Eastern Cape achieved global recognition for their commitment to reducing plastic pollution when they received an award at the SPAR International Conference last month. The conference in Amsterdam in the Netherlands went under the banner of the SPAR International Responsible Retailing Forum and brought managers from around the world to share ideas and best-practice examples. SPAR EC managing director Conrad Isaac accepted the award on behalf of the company and said it was gratifying to have received such recognition. He was quick to add, though, that their Stop Plastic campaign, which was launched in April to eliminate the single-use of plastic bags, was not about earning awards. "Our mission is to create awareness about the dangers to the environment of plastic pollution," he said. "We are doing this because it is the right thing to do. I equate it to playing sport - if you play well, the scoreboard will take care of itself. "So this campaign is not about awards but about playing the game well and we feel are on the right track." Isaac was referring to the fact that from the launch of the Stop Plastic campaign on April 6 until the end of September they had sold three million fewer plastic bags than over the same period last year. "If you had asked me before our campaign started what we would achieve, I would never have expected to reach a number of three million. "So that is really encouraging and obviously our aim now is to keep adding to that. Every single plastic bag less that we sell means a better future for us all." He said the Stop Plastic campaign placed them at the forefront among SPAR retailers worldwide in the forum of responsible retailing. "Many people at the forum have no idea where Port Elizabeth or the Eastern Cape even is, but from a SPAR Africa point of view we are leading the way and from a SPAR international perspective we are certainly among the leaders in the 41 countries where we retail. "Many of the . . .
Africa is one of the fastest urbanising regions in the world – and it is widely accepted that the rapid urbanisation of its burgeoning big cities will play a vital role in the continent’s continued growth and development. But, are we thinking far enough ahead to plan for the resources that will be consumed, and the waste generated by this ongoing development as well as the rapidly growing populous of city dwellers? The short answer is no. The Katowice Climate Change Conference is currently underway in Katowice, Slaskie, Poland (2-14 December 2018). This event aims to elevate market awareness and attention - for desired actionable outcomes - on a host of critical priorities related to climate action but also aspirational Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) centred on; decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), and responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). I believe these three SDGs are unendingly interdependent, particularly for rapidly emerging and urbanising economies in Africa, and here below I’ve shared my thoughts on how targeting these SDGs simultaneously – with a long-term strategic vision – will help nations in Africa re-imagine waste as an opportunity to meaningfully contribute towards a resilient and sustainable future. Imagining Africa’s growth to 2050 The UN has estimated that the global population will near 11.3 billion by 2060. Populations in Africa are expected to experience just as much exponential growth – and the collective count for the continent is predicted to reach over 2.5 billion by 2050, which remarkably will represent about 26% of the world's total population by that time. Of course, these figures present immense opportunities for investors and businesses – as it means that Africa currently hosts the fastest growing consumer market in the world. However, it also alludes to a very serious challenge that threatens the future resilience and sustainability of cities and urban . . .
100 MARATHONS IN 100 DAYS: MINA GULI MORE THAN 1/3 OF THE WAY THROUGH HER GLOBAL RUN We are using water faster than it is able to be replenished; #RunningDry Campaign Raises Awareness, Urges Change December 6, 2018. On the 4th of November at the New York Marathon, international water advocate, Mina Guli, set out on the ambitious individual challenge of running 100 marathons in 100 days to highlight the global water crisis. Having already completed more than 30 of the 100 marathons, through the UK, France, Italy, Uzbekistan and India, Mina has experienced first-hand ‘choke points’ that are feeling the impact of the emerging global water crisis. Following her final run in India today in Mumbai, Mina now heads to Hong Kong and China. “My journey so far has allowed me to meet so many incredible people and to see the real effects that water shortages are already having on our world,” says Mina. “For many of us, we don’t have a real concept of where our water comes from. We simply turn on a tap and the water is there. To meet children as young as 3 years old walking more than 2km a day to collect water has given me a real appreciation of just how precious water really is.” Mina’s passion to change how people think about water and have a world where there is enough water for everyone forever is what keeps her going. She has been meeting with local water heroes within each of the regions she is visiting. These water heroes are people who are devoting their time and energy to making a difference to the global water crisis. “In the UK, for example, I was joined on one of my runs by Dr Liz Goodwin of the World Resource Institute. Liz ran12.3km with me to represent SDG 12.3 which is the sustainable consumption and production patterns,” says Mina. “I learnt from Liz that if we stopped all food wastage we would be able to save 18% of the world’s water, which is a staggering number if you consider that less than 1% of the earth's water is useable by plants, animals . . .
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 . . .