Tops to Tags becomes Give2Green 

Tops to Tags becomes Give2Green 

Leading local waste management business Interwaste has announced that its famous Tops to Tags initiative, which has run since 2011, will now be called Give2Green. It will focus on encouraging corporates, schools, and community programmes to bring in bottle tops, aluminium cans, and white office paper in return for sanitary pads or wheelchairs. These can then be distributed to those in need. 

“The Tops to Tags programme, which has been a resounding success, saw us donate over 1,000 wheelchairs to worthy recipients as well as divert over 400 tonnes of waste from landfill disposal. However, to align to changing market needs and evolving waste legislation – and, of course, the need to be at the forefront of promoting women’s health, education, and empowerment to improve the lives of women and girls in our country – we have taken the next step in this journey,” says Rajas Pillay, human resources director at Interwaste.

“We believe that Women’s Month is a perfect time to launch Give2Green. This is a month where we not only highlight women’s triumphs, but their barriers as well. Access to sanitary pads is one such barrier,” he continues. “For too many women and girls, the lack of access to sanitary pads has led to absenteeism in schools and at work, which affects their education and income generating activities. All of this has a negative impact on overall economic participation.” 

The Give2Green programme will work on the same premise as its predecessor. Recycled waste will qualify for the participant to donate either a specified number of free sanitary pads or a wheelchair to a cause or beneficiary of their choosing. However, bread tags no longer form part of this programme.

For every 250kg of bottle tops or white office paper – or 50kg of aluminium cans – brought in, 60 packs of sanitary pads will be donated. Wheelchairs, meanwhile, can still be obtained by recycling either 500kg of plastic bottle tops, 550kg of white office paper, or 120kg of aluminium cans.

“Through this programme, we will continue to provide support to people requiring wheelchairs, but will now also provide women the support they need to go about their daily activities with confidence and a sense of dignity, while empowering girls to stay in school and pursue their educational and career goals,” emphasises Pillay. “This, coupled with a key need to continue driving recycling in South Africa and start this education at grassroots level, provides a sustainable approach to two of South Africa’s key issues.”

These are the various Interwaste drop-off points to which recyclable materials can be taken countrywide:

  • Durban (KZN): 23 Shepstone Road, New Germany
  • Germiston (Gauteng, Head Office): 2 Brammer Street, Industries East, Germiston South
  • Nelspruit (Mpumalanga): 10 Bosch Street
  • Cape Town (Western Cape): 6 Montreal Drive, Airport Industria

The basic steps for the Give2Green initiative are as follows:

  • Collect as many bottle tops, aluminium cans, and white office paper as you can.
  • Deliver to Interwaste branches on Wednesdays or Thursdays (8:00 to 12:00).
  • Weighing will be done on-site at the Interwaste depots.
  • If all is in order and stock is available, pads or wheelchairs can be collected within two weeks.

“We believe that by adding the donation of sanitary pads to the Give2Green programme, we can help remove an economic barrier for so many women and allow them to allocate their limited resources to other much needed necessities, while still focusing on our core business of waste management and the encouragement of a circular economy,” Pillay says. “By embarking on this initiative to facilitate environmental sustainability and socio-economic upliftment, we can collectively make a difference.”

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