V&A Waterfront strives to be plastic-free

Pick 'n Pay at the V&A Waterfront sells reusable grocery bags for R5 outside the store.

The V&A Waterfront observed International Plastic Bag Free Day on July 3 as part of its mission towards sustainability.

The Waterfront has invested over R45 million in sustainability since 2008, according to operations manager, Petro Myburgh.

“In 2009 sustainability was something small, it formed a little bit of the greater business. We’re now very proud and pleased to say that sustainability, it sits within our core, it’s part of our vision and our mission,” Ms Myburgh said.

In January 2018, the Waterfront opened a Waste Recovery and Recycling Centre to sort waste from Waterfront properties. As of May 2019, the facility has diverted 38 percent of waste from landfill since its opening.

Ms Myburgh said the centre created 44 more jobs after its expansion along with a training facility and tenant education programmes.

Along with recycling its waste, the V&A Waterfront is also encouraging tenants to cut back on single-use plastics such as straws, plastic bags, disposable cutlery and food packaging.

By the end of 2019, the Waterfront aims to reduce single-use plastic bags by 25 percent and eliminate plastic straws.

The Two Oceans Aquarium celebrated International Plastic Bag Free Day by launching a campaign to challenge schools to become plastic bag-free zones. The challenge asks that students and parents agree not to bring single-use plastic bags into the school.

Hayley McLellan, Two Oceans Aquarium environmental campaigner and founder of #RethinkTheBag, has offered to present talks at schools free of charge about plastic pollution in the ocean and how to commit to being plastic bag-free.

The aquarium’s challenge is part of their Plastic Free July initiative to address distress and death of marine animals caused by plastic pollution.