Cleaning Up On Mandela Day

The Glass Recycling Company is committed to keeping SA clean and green

During Mandela Month 2015, The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) decided to attract the attention of pedestrians and motorists entering the busy hub of Sandton, and in doing so, draw their attention to the litter and excess waste that lines so many of our streets.

The team from TGRC along with volunteers from local businesses spent a minimum of 67 minutes cleaning up the littered roadsides and intersections approaching the heart of Sandton. TGRC also wanted to show the importance of South Africans cleaning and disposing their waste in the best possible manner. “Beyond cleaning up, it is imperative that all South Africans begin recycling. By recycling your glass and other packaging you are ensuring that your packaging waste never pollutes our country. In addition the more we recycle and reuse packaging, less ends up in landfill sites,” explained our CEO, Shabeer Jhetam.

Jhetam also emphasised the fact that the message behind Mandela Day is simple – each individual has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better.

As Nelson Mandela said, “A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”

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TGRC makes a difference every day by encouraging and supporting recycling and recycling entrepreneurs. TGRC believes that there needs to be a strong emphasis on sustainable actions and behaviours, not merely on Mandela Day. Our CEO also said that “TGRC appreciates that Mandela Day provides an opportunity to express our commitment to this notable day, in recognition of our gratitude for our beloved South African leader’s impact on our country.”

“However, we need to adopt daily positive behaviours. By recycling each glass bottle or jar you use, you are ensuring we preserve our natural resources and contribute to energy saving. In addition, glass recycling plays a valuable role in formal and informal job creation.”

TGRC along with their shareholders, who consist of many of the notable brands who package their beverage and foods in glass, believe that we can all make a difference through small tangible actions, such as separating our waste for recycling. 

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There are definitely more than 67 ways that you can make a difference, why not consider these tips and make the effort to recycle your glass:

  • Recycling is easy; you don’t have to start big to make an impact.
  • Glass can easily be recycled by taking glass bottles and jars to a ‘glass bank’ in your community, you can find one here

    ; or by sending a text message with the word ‘glass’ and the name of your suburb to 32310, at a cost of R1.00 per SMS, eg: Glass Fourways
  • If there isn’t a place for you to drop off your glass, we encourage members of the public to lobby their service stations, malls and grocery stores to implement a glass recycling point.
  • Should you not have a glass bank in your area and there is sufficient demand you can also request one here.
  • Whenever you purchase something packaged, think about how you can reuse or recycle the packaging.
  • Plan trips to glass banks and recycling stations to fit into your daily schedule – it will become part of your routine rather than a chore!
  • It’s not necessary to wash glass before placing it into glass banks, or to place different coloured glass into separate banks.
  • Glass jars and bottles used for food and beverages can be recycled. Other types of glass, like window glass, ovenware, Pyrex, crystal and light bulbs are manufactured through a different process and cannot be recycled via our glass banks.
  • Reuse old containers – they are great for storing an endless variety of items

As glass is made from natural substances, it is endlessly recyclable, making it a truly environmentally sustainable packaging. The statistics for the recycling in South Africa speak for themselves in highlighting the recyclability of glass:

The glass recycling rate in South Africa is currently 40.9% – every new glass bottle and jar manufactured in our country contains over 40% recycled glass. Glass has the highest recycled content of all packaging in our country. Over one billion glass bottles and jars were recycled in the past year alone; as a result during this period in excess of 225 000 tons of carbon emissions were reduced by recycling glass.