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Food court focus on single-use plastics at V&A Waterfront

Single-use plastics are among the most prevalent materials currently on our planet and the cause of one of the biggest environmental headaches, far outstripping our capacity to manage plastic waste.

This is why WWF South Africa has joined hands with the V&A Waterfront to encourage consumers and retailers to cut back on single-use plastics such as disposable cutlery, food packaging and coffee cups and lids.

During the month of October, all the bins in the food court area of the V&A Waterfront will be dressed to look like “post boxes” to highlight that when you throw away a single-use plastic item there is a likelihood of it travelling much further than you imagine and ending up in our oceans and on our beaches.

A similar activation at the Food Lovers’ Eatery recently had remarkable results with a 10% reduction in plastic cutlery usage in the first week of the campaign, illustrating that consumer awareness is key to tackling the growing tide of single-use plastics.

Pavitray Pillay, head of the WWF Southern African Sustainable Seafood Programme, says: “Plastic items such as straws, coffee cup lids, earbuds, individual sweet wrappers, plastic cutlery and stirrers are often used on average for 12 minutes before they are thrown away. The problem is they cause enormous damage to marine life and stay in the environment for hundreds of years. This is why we would like consumers to take ownership of what they send into the world and would like to encourage all of us to ‘rethink, refuse and reuse’ when it comes to single-use plastics.”

V&A Waterfront communications head Donald Kau comments: “Ours is a unique retail environment in that the ocean is as important to our business as our retail offering is. Not only do ocean views attract visitors to our property, but we are South Africa’s oldest working harbour with active fishing fleets. We are therefore extremely conscious of the urgent need to protect this natural resource from a rising tide of destructive plastic waste.

“By appealing to our tenants and staff and educating visitors to support our vision for a more sustainable plastic-free future, the V&A Waterfront can drive meaningful environmental change and become a bulwark between a sea of plastic waste and the ocean. We welcome the partnership with WWF to work with us to achieve the V&A’s goal to eliminate the use of single-use plastic shopping bags and bottles from the V&A Waterfront precinct.”

Plastic facts
  • 94% of litter washing up on South African beaches is made of plastic
  • The amount of litter washing up daily in Table Bay has more than tripled since 1994
  • Over 100 000 marine animals die from plastic pollution each year
Refuse, reduce, reuse single-use plastics
Single-use plastics often end up in our oceans and on our beaches.

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