Hydrate and recycle – take care of your health and the environment these holidays

Hydrate and recycle – take care of your health and the environment these holidays

In a few weeks, many South Africans will set off for their annual holiday. Sensible travelers 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. In addition, recycling the bottle can reduce its environmental footprint by 25% and ensure it does not contribute to marine pollution.

This is the message from South African National Bottled Water Association (SANBWA) Executive Director, Charlotte Metcalf, who urges holidaymakers to heed the anti-littering billboards and posters officials will most certainly have erected in car parks, along boulevards and sidewalks, and on poles thrust into the beach sand itself.

Metcalf pointed to http://marinelitter.no/’s article dispelling the numerous myths and urban legends about marine litter. This lists several ways holidaymakers – especially beachgoers – can all play their part in tackling marine litter, while on holiday on the beach as well as everyday:

  • Be an educated consumer – dispose of your waste in responsible manner so that it doesn’t end up in the ocean.
  • Reduce 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.
  • Sort 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.
  • Take on and/or support 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).

“As such, SANBWA’s members only support PET bottle suppliers which contribute to the PETCO recycling levy; have established a drop-off recycling centre for the public at their bottling facilities and all distribution centres; added the ‘please recycle’ sign on all their labels; and use recycling friendly materials or recycling optimal materials as stipulated in the SANBWA Bottled Water Standard.

“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 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 SANBWA – Charlotte Metcalf – CEO

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