by Tia

As the calendar turns to September, South Africans are gearing up for the annual Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week, scheduled to take place from 16-21 September 2024. This year marks the 28th consecutive year that Plastics SA will coordinate South Africa’s participation in the International Coastal Clean-Up, the world’s largest volunteer effort dedicated to ocean health.

According to Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics SA, the entire month of September will be a testament to environmental stewardship, with a focus on cleaning up our surroundings and promoting recycling. “The theme for this year’s event is ‘Making a Difference,’ and we call on South Africans from all walks of life to contribute to the beautification and health of our environment. Whether at work, home, or play, everyone is encouraged to actively participate in eliminating visible litter and promoting a culture of recycling”.

Highlights of Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week include:

  • Clean-Up and Recycle Week SA: 16 – 21 September
  • National River Clean-up Day: 18 September
  • National Recycling Day: 20 September
  • World Clean-Up Day: 20 September
  • International Coastal Clean-Up Day: 21 September

“Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week is a powerful reminder of the impact we can make when we come together for a common cause. Each piece of litter removed and every recycling effort contributes to the greater goal of preserving our environment for future generations. This year, we aim to inspire even more volunteers to join us in this vital endeavour,” Steyn says.

In conjunction with the clean-up activities, Plastics SA is also excited to announce the launch of a nationwide competition. Open to individuals, groups, and organisations, the competition encourages participants to submit before and after pictures of their clean-ups, along with details on the number of participants and bags of litter collected. Additionally, there is a special category to honour and reward those who establish effective recycling systems at home, school, or at their workplace. The competition features generous prizes totalling R9,000 per section, with R5,000 for first place, R3,000 for second place, and R1,000 for third place.

“We look forward to making this our most successful event yet, with the largest number of volunteers participating,” added Steyn. “Whether you’re joining a beach or river clean-up, organising a neighbourhood effort, or committing to recycling, every contribution counts. Together, we can make a significant difference and a lasting impact on our environment, one piece of litter at a time,” Steyn concludes.

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