In a few weeks, many South Africans will set off for their annual holiday. Smart holidaymakers will ensure their beach bags and hiking rucksacks contain sun screens and hats to protect them and their families from the summer sun, and water to slake their thirst and fend off dehydration.
On average, 60% of an adult’s body weight is composed of water. As such, the liquid plays a key role in our body, helping our cells, our tissue and our organs to function.
Bottled water is a healthy, guilt-free alternative to sugary carbonated beverages when it comes the delivering the hydration-on-the-go our bodies need during the warmer summer months. Importantly, recycling the bottle can reduce its environmental footprint by 25% and ensure it does not contribute to pollution – on land or sea.
And that’s why South African National Bottled Water Association (SANBWA) CEO, Charlotte Metcalf, urges holidaymakers to recycle after rehydrating these holidays.
There are many ways holidaymakers can play their part in tackling litter, regardless of their destination, she said.
- Being an educated consumer – dispose of your waste in responsible manner so that it doesn’t end up in the ocean.
- Reducing your use of unnecessary single-use plastics by choosing reusable items, carry a shopping bag, use a reusable coffee cup and purchase less food wrapped in unnecessary plastics.
- Sorting and recycle your plastics – recycled plastic means less plastic being produced and entering the environment. It seems obvious, but we could do a better job of it.
- Understanding that South Africa’s recycling ecosystem, in general, is not set up to handle the packaging alternatives currently making waves overseas. To recycle or process biodegradable and compostable plastics, and cardboard or paper bottles and cartons, would require considerable investment in new equipment and infrastructure. If this investment is not made and these alternatives are used, they will simply go to landfill.
- Taking or supporting direct action – participate in a local recycling programmes or beach cleanups. Support international campaigns that help remove plastic directly from the environment and prevent it becoming marine litter.
“SANBWA’s environmental stewardship protocols address measures to ensure source sustainability and protection, water usage minimisation, energy efficiency, solid waste minimisation, and support post-consumer recycling initiatives,” she said.
“Further, as an organisation, SANBWA was among the first worldwide to require its members to follow specific recycling guidelines. In this respect, it was advised by PETCO in South Africa (the local plastic industry’s first joint effort to self-regulate post-consumer PET recycling).
“SANBWA is also a member of the SA Plastics Pact, which has as its intention to change the way plastic products and packaging are designed, used and reused to prevent plastics from ending up in the environment. (https://sapt.co.za/sa-plastics-pact-a-first-in-africa/)
“The best way to ensure you are being environmentally responsible when consuming bottled water and other beverages is to look for the SANBWA logo on the bottle. Alternatively, seek out the resin code which must be embossed into the bottle within the ‘recycle’ triangle. Those numbered 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 are most often used for food and beverage packaging in South Africa, are therefore safe to come into contact with your food and beverages, and can be recycled – so please do.”
Issued on behalf of https://www.sanbwa.org.za/