Join the Hoedspruit revolution
The Hoedspruit community are at the forefront of the global drive against single-use plastics and are pushing to change attitudes towards the use of these products in our day-to-day lives.
A meeting was held on Friday, May 11, to discuss how Hoedspruit can become a plastic-free town.
Like-minded people with a passion for our environment, our planet and a drive for change met to discuss how we, as a community, can take steps in the right direction.
The idea is to create a brand, an identity for Hoedspruit. To create a ‘plastic-free zone’.
Local establishments were split into three main categories; restaurants, retail and lodges.
The group aim to set goals for each of the establishment categories every three months and once met, the individual business will be able to proudly display a ‘plastic-free zone’ sign at their premises. This in turn, will assist them with their marketing, sending out a positive, environmentally friendly message to passing tourists.
The meeting held on Friday discussed the first goals for each category:
Restaurants – no plastic straws allowed! And all take-away packaging is to be biodegradable.
Retail – to remove all plastic bags at till points.
Lodges – to remove all single-use plastic water bottles and offer guests a refillable alternative for the duration of their stay.
As and when interested parties can follow the above guidelines, they will be awarded with the ‘plastic-free zone’ sign and can begin promoting their allegiance to the cause.
A new goal or guideline, discussed and agreed upon by the group, will be set every three months with the aim to make Hoedspruit Town completely plastic-free in the next couple of years.
The wheels of this initiative have been put in motion by local residents, Claudia Slattery and Lou Rambert. Their passion and drive for the cause is insatiable and contagious.
Did you know that Pick ‘n’ Pay in Hoedspruit alone use approximately 8000 plastic bags per month at their till points! Well that could all be about to change!
Lou and Claudia have been in discussion with the likes of Pick ‘n’ Pay, Spar and Le Bamba to have all plastic bags removed from their stores.
It might some time to sink it and it might take some time to get used to. So, why not start making the change for yourselves now? It is so easy to bring your own bags with you when you do your grocery shopping.
The ‘Plastic-free zone’ leaders will be working closely with Southern Cross Schools to roll out the removal of plastic bags in Pick ‘n’ Pay by August of this year. They plan to launch a reminder campaign in July so that residents can get used to the idea of a plastic-bag free shopping experience.
So what are the alternatives? Don’t worry, this has been discussed and the game plan is rather genius.
The group plan to design and implement the distribution of Hoedspruit branded material bags available for purchase. The same branded bags will be available at all participating retail stores throughout the town. Keeping the design the same will reduce costs and so more establishments will be able to join in with the initiative.
Customers will be able to buy the reusable branded bags and use them again and again.
Claudia Slattery, one of the campaign leaders told the HOEDSPRUIT HERALD, “This is a positive initiative with a positive vibe, we are offering solutions. We need to change and often people are too scared to make the change. You can either choose to be a leader or a follower. We need to be the leaders and hopefully, others will follow.”
Are you willing to follow and join in on this great campaign? The group will be holding their next meeting at Maroela Bar at 11:00 on Friday, June 8.
All are welcome to attend to discuss ideas and plans going forward.
A Whatsapp group has also been created for all interested parties.
The HOEDSPRUIT HERALD will see you there!
“We need to change and often people are too scared to make the change. You can either choose to be a leader or a follower. We need to be the leaders and hopefully, others will follow.”