Recycling in SA

When one hears about recycling, the Do’s and Don’ts, that you should recycle and the damage it is causing to our planet, it sometimes falls onto ears that do not care or that are tired of hearing the same thing over and over again “Save our Planet, recycle” Blah Blah Blah.

But what if I told you that recycling has become very fascinating? Don’t believe me? Let us see if I can change your view just a little bit.

As we all know, we should recycle the following: Cans, Paper, Glass and Plastic, however today I will be focusing on one specific material that is recyclable and indeed becoming a very important recycling material in South Africa: Plastic. Yes, plastic!

South Africa has some of the highest recycling rates and recycles more plastic than most countries and has a well-supported and dynamic recycling industry which is steadily improving year by year.

We all know that plastic waste is one of the world’s biggest problems, however, advanced technology and healthy clever brains have found a perfect solution to some of South Africa’s biggest problem areas, Plastic Pollution and Damaged Roads. Combine those two problems and Voila!, some smart people have decided to fix our roads with plastic. Say What!? Um, well okay??

Shisalanga Construction has successfully completed a plastic road in Cliffdale, KZN. The company used a binding agent with unique properties to blend the recycled plastic compounds into the asphalt formula for the road. A recycling plant turns recycled plastic into pellets, which are then heated until dissolved to be mixed with additives. 6% of the asphalt’s bitumen binder is then replaced, the result: for every ton of asphalt roughly 118 to 128 bottles are being used. The repaved road in Cliffdale which is more than 400 meters long, used asphalt made with the equivalent of nearly 40 000 recycled 2-litre milk bottles. Wow! Now that is pretty awesome to me.

Another plastic road was completed in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape. Roughly 1.5 tons of recycled plastic was used to pave just 1km of road. The 1.5-ton plastic is comparable to 1.8 million plastic bags being used. By the end of the project, roughly 3 million plastic bags would have been used.

The results of this new plastic road make the road stronger and more durable, so that water, which is one of the main causes for creating our lovely potholes, will not be able to penetrate it so easy compared to the more traditional asphalt mixes. These plastic roads will also be more heat resistant.

With this new innovation of using recycled plastic for roads in our beautiful country gives us new hope to tackle our country with its waste problem as well as improve the quality of our roads. Can’t wait to see what else our clever South Africans come up with next.

Sources:
Averda
Plastics Info
Waste Advantage Mag


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About Nadine Vermeulen

I started working at Leads 2 Business in October 2014 in the Leads 2 Quotes Department. I managed all the Daily Tender Bill Requests and followed up on BoQ's for our Daily Tender Subscribers. In 2017, I was promoted to L2Q Assistant and now work with Bill of Quantities for Contractors. 🙂

Ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint

What is a Carbon Footprint?

 

A Carbon Footprint is defined by the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation, or community.

When researching the ways to reduce your Carbon Footprint there were endless articles, so many in fact I nearly got lost in the green of it all. Let’s break it down.

10 Ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint:

  1. Plant a Tree – A classic and for good reason. Trees provide shade and oxygen while consuming carbon dioxide. [tweetthis]One 10-year-old tree releases enough oxygen into the air to support 2 human beings.[/tweetthis]
  2. Energy Efficient Appliances – Look for the energy rating when purchasing appliances. The current South African label gives a rating from A down to G; with A being the best for refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and electric ovens. For most appliances, insist on an A-rated appliance, they are not difficult to find. (Old refrigerators in your house may be the inefficient equal of a G-rated fridge.) In addition to the letter rating, the label should carry an energy consumption number in kilowatt hours. It is often more useful to compare this number between models than to compare the letter rating.
  3. Switch Off – Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Turn off your computer when not in use, a computer that is off uses at least 65% less energy than one left on screensaver/standby. [tweetthis]Did you know that many electronic devices continue using energy even when off? This is known as Phantom Power.[/tweetthis] Unplug electronic devices when not in use.
  4. Drive Smart – Go for a hybrid when purchasing a new car and if you aren’t going to be doing that anytime soon make sure you keep your current vehicle properly maintained. Carpool if you can, the benefits are obvious. One car uses less fuel than two and much less than three. If you can’t carpool, stick to the following Carbon minimising tips: Don’t idle, travel light, accelerate smoothly, limit air-con use, warm up your car and plan ahead.
  5. Use CFL’s and LED’s – That’s Compact Fluorescent Lamps or Light Emitting Diodes. CFL’s use 75% less energy than an incandescent and last up to 10 times longer. LED’s are also extremely energy efficient; although not widely in use due to their cost, there is no question that LED’s are poised to supersede CFL’s in the future.
  6. Local is Lekker – Purchasing foods that are both in season and grown locally can drastically cut down the carbon emissions of the vehicles used to transport that food. The same concept goes for other goods and services as well as not to mention, you will be supporting the local economy too.
  7. Go Digital – There has been a lot of debate regarding the environmental costs of digital vs. print. The best policy to adopt is, “be mindful”. If you subscribe to a print paper, be sure to recycle your paper every day. If you prefer online news chose an unplugged laptop or e-reader, rather than a plugged-in device for the majority of your browsing time.
  8. Shower Power – [tweetthis]Taking a shower uses about 1/5 of the energy as taking a bath.[/tweetthis] You can also install a “low flow” shower head to limit the amount of water being used and take shorter showers.
  9. Recycle – Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to rubbish dumps and incinerators; prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials; saves energy; reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change; helps sustain the environment for future generations and helps create new jobs. Once you get in the habit of separating your cans, plastic, glass, paper and cardboard, it’s as easy as pie.
  10. Compost & Grow – It makes sense that what nourishes us from the earth should go back to nourishing the earth. Plant your own herbs and veggies. Not only does growing your own food make you a more conscientious global citizen, it brings you a sense of satisfaction.

 

Long story short, the more pollution that we let into the atmosphere, the worse it is for the environment. No matter what your view is on climate change these tips can save you money. Most of them don’t take that much time or effort and at the end of the month you may notice less coming out of the bank account which is a plus at any rate.

Why not start by calculating your Carbon Footprint here

 

 

Reuse Reduce Recycle
Reuse Reduce Recycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.carbonfund.org/reduce

http://cotap.org/reduce-carbon-footprint/

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/minimisecfp.html

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/reduce-your-carbon-footprint/drive-smarter-for-a-better-planet/

About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life