Partnering for the planet

A partnership aimed at increasing recycling rates in South Africa was launched on World Environment Day on June 5.

The trial initiative between Woolworths and Wildlands will upgrade the latter’s recycling villages at Hayfields Mall in Pietermaritzburg and the Quarry Centre in Hilton. It will also see the establishment of a new recycling village at the Watercrest Mall in Waterfall, with two more to follow.

Wildlands recycling villages, which are at the forefront of recycling and the recycling circular economy in South Africa, are part of a Wildtrust programme. Wildtrust, previously the Wildlands Conservation Trust, was established in 2004 with the vision of creating a sustainable future for all through its Wildlands and Wildoceans programmes.

Wildoceans

Wildoceans consolidates marine and coastal conservation work, enabling the expansion of support for the ocean environment and the sustainable development of coastal communities and the blue economy.

Wildlands’ activities have grown to include terrestrial conservation and sustainable community development projects which empower, educate and sustain various communities around South Africa.

Sindiswe Duma (Wildlands Recycling Village on-site ambassador) is on hand to help customers sort their recycling into the correct bin at the recently revamped Wildlands Recycling Village at The Quarry Centre in Hilton.

“Our vision of a sustainable future for all is well-aligned to Woolworths’ strategy, ensuring that customers are offered more convenient options for preventing their waste from going to landfill,” said CEO of Wildtrust Andrew Venter.

“Our hope is that together we will encourage more South Africans to see that there is an alternative for their waste. If we work alongside each other we can start to prevent the devastating impact that we now see along our coastlines and in all other ecosystems.”

Single-use plastics

Feroz Koor, Woolworths’ head of sustainability, said: “Last year on World Environment Day, we announced our zero packaging waste to landfill commitments. While we are working to phase out single-use plastics and make all our packaging recyclable or reusable by 2022, we also want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to efficiently recycle. Their support of accessible, well-run recycling villages is not just good for the environment, but the village concept also supports viable youth employment while connecting local schools and community-based waste-preneurs.”

Main picture, top: A new partnership with Woolworths has resulted in Wildlands Recycling Village at The Quarry Centre in Hilton getting a revamp. Louise Duys of Wildtrust (second from left), Woolworths Howick operations manager Warren Josiah (second from right) with Recycling Village on-site ambassadors Natasha Makhaye, Sindiswe Duma and Monde Zuma.