Shoprite and Packa-Ching have launched a second mobile buy-back centre in the Eastern Cape, following the recent success of the programme in East London.
With a unique, entrepreneur-focused approach, the Packa-Ching unit consists of a truck and trailer, which means it can visit multiple communities throughout Gqeberha on a regular basis.
Residents bring their recyclables on collection day; the material is weighed and the monetary value thereof is then loaded into the user’s e-wallet. Community members can spend their money at any Shoprite, Usave or Checkers supermarket.
Although the benefit may appear to be for those collecting recyclable materials, the innovative programme is also creating employment opportunities for the country’s youth: the Gqeberha unit’s five employees form part of the Shoprite Group’s participation in the YES initiative.
There are several success stories linked to this Shoprite-supported programme, including that of Thembekile Havi, a reformed gang member who has found employment and a new purpose at the Packa-Ching unit which operates in Buffalo City.
In 2016 Havi started collecting recyclable bottles, which he sold to collectors. When he saw the benefits of recycling he recruited some of his friends, and in 2019 he was introduced to Packa-Ching.
“Now I know what are recyclable materials and since joining Packa-Ching, I have started educating my community to do the same,” commented Havi.
The six Packa-Ching units, supported by Polyco and Shoprite, are located in Buffalo City, Cape Town, Thabazimbi, Katlehong, Mpilenhle, and now Gqeberha.
“We’ve already seen the positive impact of this programme on local communities – both for those generating an income from recyclables and for those employed by it. We’re confident that this new unit in Gqeberha will increase our reach and impact even further by promoting recycling and removing waste from our communities,” says Sanjeev Raghubir, the Shoprite Group’s Sustainability Manager.