Litter kills, is the message Mrs SA contestants are taking to communities
“Keeping our community clean and neat is the responsibility of every one of us,” says Donna-Mari Noble, Communications Manager of Mpact Recycling. Furthering this social objective by encouraging communities to recycle was a major motivation behind Mpact Recycling’s partnership with the glamorous 2016 Mrs South Africa pageant.
“How better to highlight environmental issues than by contrasting the dirt of an environment with the poise, beauty and sophistication of a pageant queen?” she says. Mrs South Africa is not just a beauty pageant but a women’s empowerment programme. Beauty with a purpose and making a difference is a key part of the beauty pageant.
Mpact Recycling collects more than 500 000 tonnes of waste paper, cardboard and now PET bottles every year making it the leading recycler in South Africa. Using platforms like the Ronnie Recycler programme and partnerships like Mrs. SA – it counts among its goals educating consumers on the importance of recycling.
Noble says: “People carelessly throw their rubbish on footpaths and roads instead of dustbins. Included in that rubbish, is a large amount of recyclables including paper and cardboard. When a glamorous woman tells you to put it in a recycling bag and help someone earn a living, there’s a greater chance you’ll listen. Littering is a crime penalised by a fine of up to R40,000 through municipal bylaws. It is also a source of disease as litter accumulates into piles of stinky rubbish. So the message these beautiful women will be conveying is that a small piece of litter may not seem serious but it ultimately leads to disease, litter kills.”
“The message our Mrs South Africa partners will take to communities is that by recycling, we keep our environment clean, green and beautiful.
“Many community clean-up activities also create strong social benefits, helping forge a sense of community pride and responsibility. Recycling uplifts communities and creates income-earning opportunities.” says Noble.
The easiest way to clean up one’s environment is by not trashing it in the first place. The contestants will therefore encourage residents not to discard paper-based packaging like cereal boxes, or used plastic bottles and plates, or juice or milk cartons, but instead to recycle them.
Joanie Johnson, managing director of Mrs South Africa says, “As part of the competition, our finalists are encouraged to help with community upliftment and development initiatives throughout South Africa. Raising awareness of income-earning opportunities and charitable work are important aspects of the contestants’ journey.”
In addition to its Mrs South Africa partnership, in 2015, Mpact’s mascot, Ronnie Recycler visited 294 schools, with his recycling message reaching over 143,000 learners. “Programmes such as these help Mpact Recycling reduce waste going into landfills through a growing culture of reducing, reusing and recycling,” says Noble.