The United Nations has declared “Air Pollution” as the theme for 2019 World Environment Day – held annually on June 5th. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the environment and specific environmental issues.

Leading recycling company, Mpact Recycling encourages citizens to embody the spirit of World Environment Day, tasking them with maintaining their waste separation and recycling efforts, every day and all year long. “We are bombarded with messages about saving our planet and caring for the earth but often we are at a loss as to how we can make a difference in our own homes and communities,” notes John Hunt, Managing Director for Mpact Recycling.

Recycling – an easy win for the environment

“One of the easiest and most effective ways to care for the environment is to separate our waste and make sure all recyclables are properly disposed - it is something each and every one of us can and should do,” says Hunt. “It’s a matter of understanding what items are recyclable and setting up a programme for separating waste at home or in the workplace.”

He urges families to get children involved in the process. “Recycling can become a shared activity for families, with different members being responsible for different parts of the process. It’s also a way to educate children about the benefits of recycling and reducing the impact of consumption on our world and its limited resources.”

“Recycling, whether on a personal or industrial scale, extends the lifespan of our resources, specifically landfill sites,” says Donna-Mari Noble, Mpact Recycling’s communication manager, adding that one tonne of recovered paper saves three cubic metres of landfill space.  Recycling also keeps carbon – stored in paper products – locked up for longer.

So where to start?

The programme can be as simple as having separate containers for paper, plastic, tins, glass and non-recyclable household waste. If your neighbourhood is part of Mpact Recycling’s kerbside collection programme, paper packaging, boxes, milk and juice cartons can go into Ronnie bags.

People in neighbourhoods that are not part of the kerbside collection programme can take their paper and other recyclables to participating schools, garden sites and community centres. “Look out for Mpact’s large, green paper banks at these locations,” says Hunt.

Alternatively, if you would like to get paid for your recyclables, you can:

  • Deliver them to any one of Mpact Recycling’s 17 branches located nationwide
  • Deliver them to any one of the 45 Mpact Recycling buy-back centres in Gauteng, or if you are in an outlying area – to any of our dealers nationwide

“According to RecyclePaperZA, the South African paper recyclng association, the recovery of recyclables presents more than 100,000 income opportunities for people, especially the informal sector. It not only creates employment, but also creates a cleaner, safer environment,”

“We are faced with reigning in our pollution and carbon footprint. Our efforts of creating a more sustainable world should not be limited to a day alone, but should be an ongoing process throughout the year. It is when we mind our wastefulness and harness the power recycling has, that we can ensure a healthier environment for all,” Noble concludes.

About World Environment Day

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) annually organises events for World Environment Day, which encourages worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment. It is celebrated on 5 June in over 100 countries. In 2019, China will host the global World Environment Day celebrations on the theme, ‘Air Pollution’.

The campaign was established in 1972 but first held in 1974, which shows that concern about the environment goes back several decades. 143 countries take part in World Environment Day, and the day focuses on environmental concerns ranging from pollution to global warming, sustainable food production and recycling.

According to the United Nations, the celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries. World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June.