JOHANNESBURG – NOVEMBER 30, 2022 – Fibre Circle, the producer responsibility organisation (PRO) charged with improving paper collection and recycling in South Africa, has partnered with Trash4Treats, an incentive-based school recycling initiative, to reward schools and learners that collect at least two tonnes of used office paper, worksheets and school books before “school’s out”.
As the 2022 school year draws to a close, teachers and learners of 30 schools in the Western Cape, will be collecting paper for recycling. There will be designated paper days when an energetic Trash4Treats team will visit the schools and educate teachers about the why, what and how of recycling paper.
Of the 91 000kg of recyclables collected and diverted from landfill since inception in 2019, 53 000kg has been paper. “It made sense for Fibre Circle to sponsor this drive,” says Edith Leeuta, CEO of Fibre Circle, who adds that any parent with children of school-going age will know about the amount of worksheets, printed workbooks and manuals accumulated during the year.
“Through this programme, we can channel the responsible disposal of unwanted paper through recycling,” says Leeuta.
“The Trash4Treats programme teaches young people that waste has value, instils long term positive recycling habits, and encourages learners to care for the environment,” explains Michael Baretta, managing director of [dot]GOOD, coordinator of the programme.
“Trash4Treats hopes to become the most effective primary school recycling programme in under-resourced communities in South Africa.”
“We believe that behaviour change is achieved through a combination of education, recognition and reward.”
The project engages 35 000 learners a year. Throughout 2022, 30 schools have been competing to collect the most recyclables for prize money for school upgrades.
In line with Government’s extended producer responsibility regulations, the paper and paper packaging focused PRO is required to facilitate the collection and recycling of various paper products.
“Schools and homes can be quite difficult to collect paper from as people tend to store it away in boxes and cupboards,” notes Leeuta.
Until now the project has mainly been funded by INEOS and only targeted areas in the Western Cape, including Mitchells Plain, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Tafelsig, Philippi, Heideveld and Weltevreden Valley North. There are plans to expand the programme into several Gauteng schools in 2023.