Schools Recycling Programme launched in Mangaung
A total of 41 schools from Mangaung are set to take part in this year’s edition of the Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) Schools Recycling Programme.
In a statement, Coca Cola spokesperson for the central region Caroline Nyahuye said the programme which was introduced by ABI Bottling before the Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) merger is aimed at recovering the company’s packaging from the environment and at the same time, create a work opportunity for the youth.
“As part of our producer responsibility, we aim to recover our packaging in the environment,” said Nyahuye in the statement.
“We are committed to educating and bringing awareness to learners from grassroots level in order to adopt a culture of recycling in their communities. Through this comprehensive programme, learners learn to reduce, reuse and, ultimately, recycle the litter and rubbish in order to create a cleaner South Africa,” she added.
According to the statement, CCBSA has since opened the programme up to a wider scope, to include Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thabong in the Free State.
“The programme does not focus on recycling only but also empowers our unemployed youth. We have since employed three schools recycling representatives in the Free State between the ages of 18- 24 to assist with the day to day running of this programme.”
Nyahuye said in order to incentivise and drive a positive recycling culture throughout the programme and thereafter, awards have been built into the Schools Recycling Programme – adding a fun competitive element to the initiative while giving learners a reason to do more in the recycling space.
“To stand the chance to qualify for the awards, participating schools have to commit to collect a minimum of 1 000kg of total waste per month, of which 30 percent must be polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Schools that collect two tonnes or more stand in line to win prizes as well as the revenue that they generate from selling the waste,” she noted.
This year the project will be taking a direct approach on collections and collectors through its partnership with PETCO. A business development package is designed and customised for each collector participating in the programme. The support will range from human capacity development to infrastructure development, depending on the needs of each collector.
Close to R15 million has been invested in the Schools Recycling Programme since its inception six years ago.
The programme has created over 180 jobs and 34 young people have been employed as Recycling Representatives and 134 collectors have been trained and supported.
Meanwhile, 137 informal traders from Botshabelo and Bloemfontein were recently given training in the (CCBSA) Grow My Business training programme.
Nyahuye said as a responsible corporate citizen, CCBSA is committed to giving back to communities in which it operates by uplifting communities through different programs and initiatives which supports the government’s employment creation efforts.
“The programmes we are focusing on are; Youth Empowerment through education, Environmental Management and up skilling our South African informal traders,” said Nyahuye.
She pointed out that the focus on informal traders was important as they played a big role in the South African economy and the revitalisation of townships. But these businesspeople were however faced with challenges such as financial and equipment support, increasing competition, skills shortage and unsustainable business model.
“It is for this reason that CCBSA has decided to empower 1 050 informal traders in the Free State with the support of the provincial department of the economic development,” she explained.