DURBAN – A joint beach-cleaning effort by Shoprite Checkers, Reclam and Safe Cities to observe Global Recycling Day on Monday.

Photo: Members from Shoprite Checkers; Safe Cities, Durban High School & DSW joined the beach clean-up campaign.

The seventh Global Recycling Day was commemorated by popular South African Retailer, the Shoprite Group, in partnership with the Reclamation Group and Safe Cities Forum NPC, at the Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve on Monday, 18 March 2024.

Photo: Beach clean-up in operation at Beachwood Mangroves/Blue Lagoon.

“This is a wonderful example of how a small group of active citizens can work together to make a positive difference in our local communities.  We believe these activities also bring about behavioural change that helps reduce waste, something that we’re fully committed to in our everyday operations,” says Sanjeev Raghubir, Head of Sustainability and CSI at the Shoprite Group.

Photo: Shoprite Checkers staff joining the beach clean-up campaign.

Stacey Allan, Commercial buyer & Key accounts manager at the Reclamation Group said that Global Recycling Day stands as a momentous reminder of the importance of environmental and sustainable practices.  “What better way to honour this occasion than by organising a beach clean-up event and collaborating with like-minded businesses, schools and NGO’s to promote recycling and divert waste from our oceans?”  She said that removing litter from beaches serves a dual purpose: it prevents harmful pollutants from entering the ocean, where they pose grave threats to marine life and ecosystems, while also providing valuable educational opportunities. “These clean-up efforts raise awareness about the significance of waste reduction and responsible recycling habits”.   Stacey explained that recycling itself plays a crucial role in conserving resources, cutting down energy consumption, and decreasing the volume of waste destined for landfills.  By encouraging individuals and communities to recycle materials such as paper, plastic, glass, and metal, we can significantly reduce our environmental footprint and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.  “By simply making a conscious decision to reduce, reuse, and recycle, each of us has a role to play in protecting our planet for future generations.  By working together, we can make a positive impact and create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable world for all.”

Photo: Members of Reclaim joining the beach clean-up campaign.

This year’s Global Recycling Day, themed “Recycling Heroes” came to a breathtaking reality when fifty learners from Durban High School (DHS) stormed the beach to eagerly assist the organisers to rid the environment of toxic waste elements.

Photo: Learners from DHS joining the beach clean-up campaign.

“At DHS we are constantly mindful of our Mission Statement and Core Values and that is to produce gentlemen of character.  In so doing we encourage young men to fulfil their social responsibility through community service projects.  We are in the forefront in this domain through our compulsory community service expectations for grade 8 to grade 11 learners”, said Hilda Henley, Educator and Gr 11 Pastoral Head, DHS.   She explained that the learners at DHS are throughout the year engaged in various community service projects which range from providing for the less fortunate as well as conserving the environment.  “DHS has for a while now been involved with beach clean-ups and therefore did not hesitate to join Safe Cities on this programme.  It has been a privilege to be involved with this progressive and worthwhile initiative to save our environment.”

Photo by Darren – Shoprite: Learners from DHS joining the beach clean-up campaign

Gerda Strydom, Director of Safe Cities Forum NPC said as citizens we have a moral obligation to become responsible stewards of creation.  She commends Checkers for this initiative and creating an opportunity to collaborate for a good cause.  “As a non-profit company passionate about environmental conservation, we value the efforts from Checkers and encourage other corporates to follow their example in effectively increasing their triple bottom-line,” said Gerda.

Photo: Safe Cities team joining the beach clean-up campaign.

Members from Durban Solid Waste also represented eThekwini municipality in support of this initiative.

Photo: Some waste collected during the beach clean-up campaign.

Written by Zoé Pillay – Safe Cities Media

Photos by Darren for Shoprite

18 March 2024

For the prosperity of the City!