Wise words, questions, struggles and solutions to the plastic free challenge from the Eastern Cape.
Gogo Mzimkhulu, Stories from Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth
A company administrator and a traditional healer who lives in a working class suburb in the Eastern Cape and shops for herself as well as for all the regular visits from friends and family.
It’s been tough so far trying not to use plastic. First couple of days it was easy, I had my Spar bag all honky dory. Now the problem is when I have forgotten my bag at home. And you must know I don’t have a car. So I end up buying another reusable shopping bag, mind you they are like R42 at the Spar near me. I have ended up with three and still I forget it from time to time. It’s getting a wee bit expensive.
But on the other hand…it’s made me more aware of other ways to help the environment. I am encouraging people to recycle and they are seeing the benefits. Collecting cans, bottles etc. In my area a lot of people are not using the dirt bins provided at the shopping centre and are throwing plastics on the ground. We have an open field right behind us. Now we have Indwe’s, Ravens, crows, Thekwana , Hadedas, Swallows and Sunbirds that are daily visitors and they are eating the plastics – now I have to run around like a mad woman either picking up the plastics or chasing the birds away from eating the plastic. Most upsetting and disturbing.
My area is a working class area (suburbia) you’d think people would know better. Even as a child visiting the rural areas the old Madalas planted it into us the dangers of plastics and animals (animals consuming plastic).
My issue is people throwing the plastic anywhere after use, because in general you can re-use most plastic. My thing is….why don’t people want a clean environment? Why is there no pride? Plastic on fences….dumped in rivers…..water is scarce. Why would people not want clean rivers?
Anyway the struggle continues.
Collective solutions from all our stories…every little thing we do adds up and it all counts…it’s not easy to change habits and plastic packaging is everywhere, but the more of us who say NO to single-use plastic the easier it becomes…living a healthy, plastic free life is really difficult and expensive, this needs to change and we CAN change it….and sharing our stories is powerful, we are not alone, we inspire each other and we can take back our power as consumers to create healthy communities and a healthy planet. Who’s in?
Follow our blog for all the episodes in this Plastic Free Challenge series.
[You can search for places that are recycling or using eco packaging on Eco Atlas and here are some other plastic free wins you should definitely check out – GreenHome, StreamStraws, FreshBag, The Candylwood Store and more…]