#PlasticFreeJuly is probably the biggest anti-plastic movement for 2019. It is thus comforting to see that big retailers like SPAR Eastern Cape has entered their next phase of STOP Plastic campaign earlier this week. Retailers are the link between manufacturers/distributors and consumers. It is them that thus sub-consciously force us to make better choice, to live a little greener.

At a function at the Boardwalk Hotel in Port Elizabeth on Monday, Angelo Swartz, who will soon take over from Conrad Isaac as the SPAR EC managing director, said they were ready to strengthen their commitment to cleaning up the environment. These are no empty promises as SPAR EC has sold 4.3-million fewer plastic bags since the launch of the campaign in April 2018 compared to the corresponding period the previous year.

SPAR Eastern Cape’s Angelo Swartz, who will soon take over as managing director, outlined the way forward for Phase II of the STOP Plastic campaign at the Boardwalk Hotel in Port Elizabeth on Monday. Photo: Leon Hugo

However, both Isaac and Swartz agreed they needed to continue their commitment to the project in collaboration with various parties. In outlining their plans, Swartz said it was something they could not do on their own and invited role-players from all walks of life to join them.

So here is our chance to join SPAR Eastern Cape in making South Africa green again. Upon the launch of Phase II this coming weekend, SPAR Eastern Cape will run a promotion on Saturday (July 13) where customers at SPAR stores will be given a free paper bag for every 10 plastic bags they provide. So come on, bring your plastic bags, I promise you spring cleaning has never felt this good! Paper bags is the thing these days. We will definitely be joining in to collect a few paper bags at our nearest SPAR.

As if awarding you with biodegradable paper bags are not enough, SPAR is calling upon the community to come up with ideas that can make a difference. They are committed in such away that they even offer R250 000 in prizes for initiatives from the community. So make your voice heard. Let them have your 2 cents worth. It is now the time to shine. All corporates, small businesses, schools, tertiary institutions and customers – no matter how big or small – your idea might be THE one! Let’s get sharing.

“Why is it only me that has to do my part?” you might ask. Well, Swartz also identified other areas where they would focus, such as continuing to work with suppliers to reduce single-use plastic in the packaging of products. Besides Saturday’s promotion of 10 plastic bags for a free paper bag, he said they would be setting up regular promotions with suppliers in which, by buying certain products, customers could qualify for paper bags. “We don’t want to put all the cost of alternative packaging onto the customer so this will be a way to encourage them to try a better option.”

It is time that we shop smarter. If we can influence the suppliers in using smarter, greener packaging, everyday rushed life will be so much simpler in that we do not have to read labels or ponder on the manufacturing and packaging of single-use plastic anymore. By supporting SPAR Eastern Cape’s STOP Plastic campaign, you are taking that step. You are ensuring that life will become simpler and more sustainable for years to come.

Thank you SPAR Eastern Cape! Thank you suppliers! But most of all, thank you fellow customers on supporting the STOP Plastic campaign.

I’ll see you on Saturday (13 July 2019) at your nearest SPAR!


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