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Greening And Environment

July is Plastic Free Month so let’s unite against single-use plastic

During July, the City of Cape Town calls on residents to consider their use of single-use plastic, and replace single-use plastic with refillable alternatives wherever possible.

 Plastic pollution is a pressing global issue, and South Africa is no exception. Each year, millions of tonnes of plastic waste end up in landfills, or oceans, where they threaten our ecosystems and health. However, by adopting simple, refillable alternatives, we can significantly cut down on plastic waste and transform Cape Town into a cleaner and greener city.

 Residents can consider these practical suggestions for reducing single-use plastic in their daily lives:

•        Refillable water bottles: Invest in a durable, reusable water bottle. Cape Town’s tap water is safe to drink, making it easy to refill on the go.


•        Reusable shopping bags: Take your own shopping bags when you go to the store instead of buying plastic bags.


•        Bulk buying and refills: Buy grains, nuts and spices in bulk using your own containers. Several stores around Cape Town also offer refill stations for household cleaning products, shampoos  and soaps.


•        Reusable coffee cups: Many cafes in Cape Town support the use of your own coffee cup by offering a discount for customers who bring theirs.


•        Eco-friendly lunchboxes: Pack meals in reusable containers instead of single-use plastic bags or cling film to reduce waste and keep food fresh.


•        Food shopping: Choose loose and unwrapped fruit or veg where possible. More and more retailers are finding ways to sell household staples such as pasta, rice, nuts and spices in a plastic-free way. There are even plastic-free stores popping up around Cape Town and we encourage residents to explore these. Lots of items end up being cheaper than their plastic-wrapped equivalents.


•        Toiletries: A cheap swap is to replace shower gel and liquid hand soap for soap bars. Did you know you can also get shampoo and conditioner bars for your hair too?


For the City’s part, we are encouraging refillable options as well as other ways to minimise single-use plastic through the administration of Integrated Waste Management Plans for waste generators, including businesses.


Every waste generator in Cape Town is required by local legislation to develop a plan to manage and minimise their businesses’ waste, for approval by the City. The City can set targets for waste minimisation, or make recommendations or for reduction of certain waste types before approving the plan. Alternatives to single-use plastic are being encouraged through this process.


‘By choosing to refill and reuse, we can all play a part in protecting our environment and creating a sustainable future for Cape Town. Let’s make this July a starting point for lasting change. Together, we can turn the tide on plastic waste. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to a cleaner, greener Cape Town,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.


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