Pushing for ‘zero waste’ in 2010

11 December 2006

Non-governmental organisation the Institute for Zero Waste (Izwa) has launched a national initiative to reduce the potential negative impacts of waste and pollution during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The campaign, described as an attempt to “green the World Cup, African style,” invites players involved in the World Cup to register with the Zero Waste 2010 Coalition “so that they may receive support in greening their operations well before 2010.”

Izwa will also make project packs available to help businesses, municipalities, sports authorities, venues and event organisers to work towards a waste-free World Cup.

The initiative includes a learnership project, run by Izwa and supported by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, that is training interns to support 2010 service providers using zero waste principles.

Muna Lakhani, the Durban-based national co-ordinator of Izwa, told the Sunday Tribune that the organisation’s mission was “working towards a world without waste through public education and the practical application of zero waste principles”.

For example, says Lakhani, takeaway food providers can avoid “toxic polystyrene” by using paper pulp and cardboard instead. “Paper can be hygienically pulped, dewatered and pressed into burger and hotdog containers, egg trays and ceilings,” he explains.

“McDonalds has banned polystyrene in the US, and we should do the same.”

The key to the success of the campaign, Lakhani told the Sunday Tribune, lay with businesses and industry rethinking their production methods to phase out unsustainable or harmful materials.

“Goods, especially appliances, must be designed to be easily disassembled and repaired, and carry a deposit. They must go back to the manufacturer at the end of their life for disassembly and reintegration into products.”

The government could do its bit by being stricter about waste disposal, while the public could play its part by refusing to buy products – such as polystyrene and plastic – that could not easily be recycled or reused in some other form.

More more information, e-mail zerowaste@iafrica.com.

SouthAfrica.info reporter

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