South Africans generate roughly 54.2 million tonnes of general waste per year of which a maximum of 10% is recycled.
In light of this, consumers are making more thoughtful purchasing decisions, aligning their values with where they shop and what brands they choose. Blue Route Mall recognises that we can make a significant contribution and are continually developing our environmental, social and governance programmes and adopting new practices that will continue to deliver positive outcomes for our community.
We have made many important changes in the way we operate from working towards being a plastic-free mall to notable improvements to our building and operating procedures including the recycling of 85% of our waste. Blue Route Mall also works closely with several schools in our local community so the idea for Sustainable Trendsetters was born – an idea which could combine our sustainability philosophy with a practical initiative for school children.
This community school-based recycling buildathon, which was endorsed by the Two Oceans Aqaurium, gave local schools the opportunity to win R10 000 for their school by simply collecting their own recyclable items which they then used to create a structural sculpture which was also required to be functional. By encouraging these children to recycle in a fun and interactive way, they learnt about sustainability in a practical setting rather than via theoretical learning.
Each of the schools, consisting of a 7 person team, was required to build on-site for at least 4 hours with team members swapping out during the day in the form of a relay.
Five schools participated in the event and had the opportunity to showcase their masterpiece to the public.
To further educate the participants and schools on the benefit of reducing, reusing and recycling materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill, our partner in this initiative, the Two Oceans Aquarium, will be conducting their Smart Outreach programme at each of the participating schools.
The winning school was Muizenberg Junior who created not only a gorgeous piece of art but a functional one too!
We see this event as a fantastic incentive that will encourage and motivate our local schools and community to continue recycling where possible. This is a big win for our beautiful planet, as well as educating today’s youth on our ever-changing environment. We’re so proud that we’re helping to make a difference and looking forward to putting more of these initiatives into action!
We are so encouraged by these results, the fact that the kids loved the initiative and that the teachers expressed interest in participating again, that we are considering making this a signature event annually and to putting more of these initiatives in place.
We proved that not only is recycling fun but that if we all make a small difference in our daily lives, our future generations will have a better chance of having a decent planet to live on.