As retailers begin discounting items for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period, the City of Cape Town would like to urge residents to please shop with waste minimisation in mind. High volumes of packaging waste should also please be minimised or disposed of responsibly.
While families in Cape Town prepare to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, the City would like to remind both residents and businesses to shop and operate with the principle of waste avoidance, reduce, reuse and recycle in mind. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are embraced by many as a way to save money in the run-up to Christmas but can also lead to excessive purchasing of unnecessary items. These most frequently include clothes and electrical products that are available at a huge discount.
Studies around the world show that the impact of Black Friday on waste volumes is very significant. A high proportion of everything bought during these sales, including high volumes of e-waste, will end up in landfill, often after a short life.
To mitigate this, the City advises the following when doing your Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping:
Buy only what you need. A shopping list can help prevent impulse buys.
Buy in bulk and cut down on products with lots of packaging – refills and concentrates generally require less packaging
Choose durable products that won’t need to be replaced often
Regarding packaging waste the following tips will help reduce society’s waste burden:
Most plastics packaging items have recycling logos imprinted on them to help you identify the kind of plastic – look for a recycling triangle with a number between 1 and 7. Try to avoid packaging with a 3 or 7 logo where possible.
Most polystyrene (Plastic No 6) can now be recycled in Cape Town.
Flatten cardboard boxes to save space when sorting these for recycling.
Store paper and cardboard inside to avoid it getting wet.
Make use of the City’s Think Twice recycling collection service if you live in a qualifying area – find out if you qualify here.
If your property does not benefit from municipal recycling collection yet you can take recyclables to municipal drop-off sites or buy-back centres. The City has a waste recyclers map listing private recycling initiatives (collection services and buy-back centres) operating throughout Cape Town.
we urge residents to challenge retailers about their plastic and other non-recyclable packaging, or if items are over-packaged. You have enormous power to effect change through where you spend your money.
Reducing the burden on landfills can also be achieved by managing the old appliances you are replacing, or packaging waste, responsibly. For disposal of cell phones, computers, fridges, irons, stoves, televisions etc. the City recommends:
Returning broken or old phones to cell phone outlets throughout the city, where possible.
Upgrading, repairing or reconditioning appliances where possible
Taking old appliances/computers to a City drop-off site for potential re-use or refurbishment where possible.
Donating older but functional appliances to a school or charity
‘In recent years it has become clearer that we need to do more than just recycle to address our world’s waste challenge. We also need to think about designing waste out of our economy. Consumers can help speed up this process by shopping at places or buying products that demonstrate commitment to the waste avoidance, reduce, reuse and recycle principles. For instance, there are online retailers that use almost comically-big boxes packed with filler to deliver small, non-fragile items. While the excessive packaging may be amusing, it is actually slowly killing our planet.
‘One of the key tools to reduce waste is the circular economy. Our economy developed over time to be mostly linear in terms of materials: we make goods, use them, and then dispose of them. The City and residents now need to come together to keep goods and materials in use for as long as possible, extracting maximum value from them, and then repairing and repurposing when they break. We tend to lack awareness of the time and effort required to produce a simple tin or bottle, but if you really think about all the labour and resources that went into producing these items it makes much more sense to reuse or recycle them instead of simply throwing them away,’ said Alderman Grant Twigg, Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management.
Source: City Of Cape Town