Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), the soft drink division of South African Breweries (SAB) launched the School Recycling Programme, geared at driving the recycling message from primary school level and to spark environmental conversations among learners from the participating schools. Recycling is a learning experience and ABI hopes that with this initiative, students, teachers and parents will learn the basics of recycling, as well as sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Corporate Affairs Manager at ABI, Itumeleng Matlaila, comments, ‘We believe in empowering our children, by involving them from an early age in recycling education. We hope to give them a voice, in the future of the environment they live in.’
Children are asked to collect polyethylene terephthalate (PET), cans and paper (glass has been excluded as it represents a risk of injury for children). A minimum target of 70kg per primary school per month has been set and collection will take place weekly. There will be monthly reports summarising the volumes collected and the monthly winners stand a chance to walk away with, R2 500. The campaign will culminate in an award ceremony to recognise winning schools, share overall performance and targets met or exceeded.
Last year, Bergvliet High School in Cape Town proved that with determination and commitment, schools can collect more than what is expected. The school earns on average a total of R110 000 through waste collection and recycling on an annual basis. Bergvliet also came third in the Waste Minimisation category at the Climate Change Leadership Awards.
In the short term, ABI hopes to recover at least 50 per cent of the bottles and cans its produces annually by 2015. In order to achieve this goal, the company plans to increase the focus on the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste generated as a result of its production process and product delivered to its customers. It is the largest distributor of Coca-Cola brands in the Southern Hemisphere, reaching over 71 000 customers.