Colour plastic gets the bin

2017-05-02 06:00
At the recent recycling expo in Fish Hoek, these children from Noordhoek Valley Educare Centre showed off their crafts.

At the recent recycling expo in Fish Hoek, these children from Noordhoek Valley Educare Centre showed off their crafts.

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Residents are excited to recycle coloured polystyrene following a recent community-based recycling expo.

At the Fish Hoek expo, residents were informed of a partnership between False Bay Recycling and GreenLite Concrete – based in Ottery – which uses polystyrene beads mixed with cement to make fireproof, water-resistant, lightweight concrete blocks. Both companies exhibited at the event (organised by the Far South Peninsula Community Forum and community eco-groups) which attracted over 300 people.

Previously, only white polystyrene could be recycled locally.

However, there are still products that cannot be recycled, including some plastic milk bottles, some plastic bottles, plastic cake protectors and clear plastic fruit punnets.

“The plastics for which there’s a market locally are 1, 2, 4 and 5,” explains Yolanda Valentine of False Bay Recycling. “And if plastic crinkles, it’s not ­recyclable.”

Patrick Dowling, chairperson of the Kommetjie Residents and Ratepayers’ Association, has called on local residents to hold shops and manufacturers ­responsible.

“They are making profit out of these things but we end up being the ones paying and the environment carries the long-term cost,” he says.

“We need to redress the balance and put the responsibility back with manufacturers and retailers to make goods and packaging that can easily be reabsorbed into the production cycle.

“Government – national, provincial and local – has an important role to play in compliance and effective policy development. Vigilant citizens who are expected to buy things can also be massively influential in how things are done. Zero waste to landfill has to become more than a pipe dream.”

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