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Plastics SA helped to make Cape Argus cycling race sustainable

Argus 2014 Chuck Zone. Argus 2014 Chuck Zone.

Plastics|SA helped to make this year’s Cape Argus Pick n PayMomentum Cycle Tour sustainable by coordinating a clean-up crew of 161 workers during last weekend’s cycle race.

Covering the area from the Wynberg Hill in Constantia to Camps Bay, this dedicated team of waste pickers and collectors were employed from the nearby Ocean View and Masiphumelele townships near Kommetjie. This team of eco warriors were responsible for picking up all the litter that was strewn along the road and ensuring that the waste generated at the event is recycled.

“We managed to fill 5 small truck loads with waste after this year’s race, which was predominantly made up of paper cups, and a fair amount of syrup sachets,” said John

Kieser, Sustainability Manager for Plastics|SA and coordinator of the cleaning crews after doing a final clean-sweep of the area on the Monday morning following the race day. Because a large section of the 109 km route actually takes place in a national park, Kieser stressed that any litter left to the elements could have a devastating effect on the wildlife. To this end, he complimented the race organisers on launching the “Stash Your Trash” campaign, which encouraged cyclists to throw their litter into designated areas that were created at refreshment stations.

“We saw a marked improvement in the amount of litter we were able to collect and the speed at which we could clean the route thanks to these “chuck zones,” Kieser said.

Another improvement was the placing of the plastic litter bins (picture left) along the route, brought in to replace the carton boxes that were easily blown away by the wind during previous years’ races.

“As a charitable organisation, we are committed to ensuring that our actions cause no harm. In an area as stunning as the Cape Peninsula, it is critical for us to make sure that the success of our event does not come at the expense of the natural beauty that surrounds us,” Renee Jordaan, operations director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, was quoted saying.

Kieser said that it is vitally important for event organizers to work together with service providers on developing an event greening strategy that is practical, well planned and executed effectively.

“We continue to learn and fine-tune our strategies of collecting and recycling the litter at big events such as these, making sure they are socially and environmentally responsible. We will be increasing the amount of Chuck Zones during next year’s race and will also adopt this for other events. It has already been adopted by Amashova Durban Classic cycle race that will be taking place later this year.”

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