Today is International Plastic Bag Free Day and the V&A Waterfront has chosen it as the perfect moment to break up with plastic. Why are they ending this unhealthy relationship? Because plastic is everyone's problem!
There are two amazing activations for YOU to get involved in inside the Victora Wharf Mall in the V&A Waterfront until Monday 9 July:
- Shoppers visiting the mall will be able to swap old plastic shopping bags* brought from home for lovely reusable bags made by Township.
- Have your photo taken by volunteers and pledge to end your own relationship with single-use plastic bags.
These activities will be taking place under the incredible whale skeleton made from plastic waste. Find this wonderful piece of artwork in front of the H&M store.
*Bags handed in to the V&A Waterfront will be converted into ecobricks.
A plastic-free precinct
Andre Theys, Executive Manager: Operations for the V&A Waterfront, said that as the country's oldest working harbour, the Waterfront is committed to caring for the ocean. Twenty four per cent of all the waste generated in the V&A Waterfront is plastic, and although there are measures in place to recycle this, more needs to be done.
Last year at the Volvo Ocean summit, V&A Waterfront CEO David Green announced that it was the goal of the precinct to be completely single-use plastic free within the next three years. This was reiterated by Andre Theys, and examples of successes in the area were highlighted: The move by all V&A Waterfront hotels to bottle their own water using reusable glass and Pick n Pay's announcement to begin piloting biodegradable bags.
Pick n Pay
Pick n Pay celebrated International Plastic Bag Free day at their flagship store in Victoria Wharf Mall by rolling out an exciting new pilot programme.
PnP Chairman Gareth Ackerman addressed the crowd at the launch event, reiterating that although Pick n Pay has adopted an environmental policy since 1981 and actively works with communities, there is still plenty of room for improvement and they as a company are on a journey. This journey is not only for big businesses and oil companies, it is something everybody needs to be part of. Gareth Ackerman pointed out that social media is a fantastic platform for consumers to identify problems, and for businesses (Pick n Pay included) to address these concerns and find ways to improve.
The podium was then taken by Suzanne Ackerman, PnP Director of Transformation. "Two million plastic bags are used every minute. They are used for just 12 minutes, but they will last for 500 years." With these words, Suzanne Ackerman announced the official launch of Pick n Pay's pilot project which has been several years in the making.
Here are the actions that are being taken at the V&A Waterfront PnP branch:
- Biodegradable plastic bag alternatives are being trialled. They are compostable within 90 days under normal conditions, i.e. your home compost heap, and can be added to organic waste disposal. These bags are made from starch, cellulose and vegetable oil.
- Grocery boxes will be available in store for R5 each.
- Reusable Township bags will be promoted on an ongoing basis in-store. PnP has already sold a million of these and hope to increase the number of people who have and use these bags on a regular basis.
How are you getting involved in International Plastic Bag Free Day and Plastic Free July?
- Show us your reusable bag with the hashtag #RethinkTheBag or make your pledge online now!
- ChooseToRefuse with us and WWF South Africa