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Soaking up SA's sights sustainably on SodaStream's red bus tour

Rather than quote you the shocking stats about plastics, I've chosen just one: "Every piece of plastic ever made still exists today." Read it again and let that sink in, because this fact was top of mind when SodaStream SA hosted a bunch of the Cape's media and influencers for the launch of their new re-usable bottles that effectively lead the charge against single-use plastics.
The trio of South African pride SodaStream bottles.

We met at Tasha’s at the V&A Waterfront for a quick coffee and muffin before departing on a delightfully heated, special red bus tour up to Signal Hill and back through the CBD, ending at the Iziko SA Museum, led by SodaStream SA’s marketing manager Thembakazi ‘Tesh’ Ndamase.

Go beyond recycling to ‘pre-cycling’

As a result of the stat quotes above, Ndamase made it clear that the brand is strongly against single-use plastics, and pushes towards ‘pre-cycling’ rather than recycling.

This is where you reduce waste altogether by making a smarter decision upfront to reduce and reuse, such as with SodaStream’s first reusable bottle range that’s completely dishwasher safe and is also UV-resistant and BFA-free.

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The five new designs include caps that seal in that special fizz and are aptly named along the lines of ‘Natural’, ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Sports’, with illustrated fronts celebrate some of the South African heritage we soaked up on the tour. Ndamase explains:
Even though the country’s recycling rate is improving, we are still ranked in the top 20 globally when it comes to producers of trash per capita. Single-use plastic waste and pollution threatens our wildlife and has a direct impact on the tourism industry. With this in mind, we investigated how we can do more to help not only the country but the planet.

We took this in and got into a lighter mood by sampling Soda Stream’s new non-alcoholic tonic, pink mojito and pina colada flavours, all just as yummy as the classic flavours you’ve come to know, which contain two-thirds less sugar than store-purchased equivalents. But let’s switch from the sense of taste to sound…

City Sightseeing, by sound

Tastebuds tickled, we plugged in the City Sightseeing bus’ signature red-and-yellow earbuds to learn along the route, and fittingly, one of the first snippets was about measures taken to combat the water shortage in the Cape.

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Arriving at the V&A Waterfront’s Clock Tower stop, we also learned about the language nuances of the city and how Devil’s Peak is linked to the tale of Van Hunks. Entering the Foreshore area with its tall skyscrapers was also all the more impressive when we heard that the whole area was under the sea until 1947.
This is a wonderful way to learn about your city – even as a local. We heard that “With Table Mountain always in sight, it can be said Capetonians never get lost as they navigate by it. They also hear a boom and feel the earth move under your feet with the roar of the Noon Day Gun’s cannon each day except Sunday.
By then we’d reached the top of Signal Hill, where the weather playing just long enough for us to snap a few photos before the heavens opened.

Warming ourselves in the bus again, we heard that the oldest-known written form of Afrikaans was actually in Arabic letters, and on hearing it described by UK Wallpaper magazine as “the ugliest language in the world,” SA billionaire Johann Rupert responded by pulling advertising for all his big brands from the title.

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By then we had arrived at the Iziko South African Museum in the pouring rain, so welcomed the chance to step inside and dwell on the country’s history at the Museum founded in 1825 that left us with a better understanding of the earth and its biological and cultural diversity, past and present.

The tour was an interesting mix of similar titbits about our multicultural history, as well as tips to help build a more sustainable future through conscious consumerism. I’ll drink to that!

#BizTrends2018: Conscious consumption

I'm not that big on food trends, to be honest. I find gimmicks and 'flavour of the month' offerings a very slippery slope. That said, I do think established chefs, producers and industry thought-leaders who have the ability to change with the times are critical for the industry.

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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, and can be reached at ...