Plastics|SA has announced the names of the winning schools that entered its sixth annual Clean-Up & Recycle Competition.
According to Douw Steyn, director sustainability of Plastics|SA, this year's competition again attracted entries from across South Africa: "The aim of this competition was to create awareness of and educate learners on the positive attributes of plastics and the responsible use and disposal thereof. As future custodians of the earth, they have the chance to make a difference in their homes, schools and environment."
Schools, organisations and learners from cities and rural towns were keen to get their fellow pupils and communities involved in cleaning and recycling initiatives where they work, live and play. "This year, the organisers were once again impressed with how industrious, creative and motivated the young people can be when it comes to bringing about real and lasting change in their environments," said Steyn.
As one of the prizes of the competition, the winning entrant from the winning school and a teacher were treated to the best that the Mother City has to offer. After arriving in Cape Town, the group enjoyed trips to Robben Island and Seal Island, Cape Point, the Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront and Monkey Valley Resort. In order to gain first-hand experience of the recycling process, the learners visited the City of Cape Town's Integrated Waste Management Facility in Kraaifontein and experienced the recycling process at Atlantic Plastics Recycling.
Schools, organisations and learners could enter one of the following four categories in this year's competition:
The national winners in this year's competition were:
- Category 1: Our Clean-Up encouraged schools or communities to draw up a marketing and action plan to clean up a local school, community, river, dam or beach.
- Category 2: We Recycle encouraged schools or communities to engage with their local municipality and a local recycling entrepreneur during a recycling initiative. Participants had to identify and list the different types of plastics that they collected, as well as list which new products are being manufactured from the recycled material.
- Category 3: We Cleaned-Up and Recycled - the school needed to organise an exciting clean-up and recycling event within their local community, or at a local river, dam or beach.
- Category 4: Our carbon handprint (@home, @office, @organisation), which encouraged communities to initiate or support clean-up and recycling activities.
- Primary Schools (Cleanup and Recycling): First Prize: Avasha Lochan of Rustic Manor Primary School in KZN, who won a weekend away in Cape Town for herself and her teacher Mrs Rajkoomar, along with a cash prize of R5000 and a fridge for her school.
- Primary Schools (Cleanup): First Prize: Zama Cele of Ndongeni Primary School in KZN, who won a weekend away for herself and her teacher Mrs Ndlovu, as well as R5000 in cash and a fridge for her school.
- High Schools (Cleanup and Recycling): First Prize: Learners Brittany Charmers and Michaela Mullins of Knysna High School joined in on the fun in Cape Town and also won a fridge for the school. Their teacher Ms A Groome joined them for the weekend.
- Organisations - Carbon Handprint Category: First Prize: Fakkel School in the Free State, won a fridge for their establishment.
Plastics|SA's Youth Ambassador and Aqua Angel, 12-year-old Nikita van der Merwe, also joined the winners on their Cape Town weekend and shared some of her experiences and findings as a canoeist paddling the dams and rivers in KZN, monitoring litter.