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Article by Nampak 13 August 2013

Nampak and PENSchools Inter-Schools Recycling Competition

Nampak, Africa’s largest packaging company, is committed to positive contributions in Education, Health, Welfare and the Environment through a focused Corporate Social Investment strategy. Activities are largely directed towards the development of selected communities located near Nampak South African factories, particularly through youth programmes to build the capacity of our future leaders. Schools in these communities, where employees’ children are likely to attend, are partnered and supported by Nampak, namely: Lethulwazi Secondary School (Vosloorus, [Status]), Amogelang Secondary School (Soshanguve, [Status]), Nkumbulo Secondary School (Kwa-Thema, [Status]) and Lebohang Secondary School (Boipatong, [Status]) in Gauteng.

Together with PETCO and WESSA Eco-Schools, Nampak has formed a partnership known as PENSchools – who are proudly partnered to care for the earth. PENSchools support the Nampak partner schools to improve environmental management and increase environmental learning, with a focus on sustainable waste management practices by encouraging all schools to recycle.

In 2012, PENSchools launched its first Inter-Schools recycling competition aimed at promoting waste reduction activities at the schools and their respective local communities. Each class in the school was encouraged to collect as much recyclable waste as possible up to the deadline of 26 October 2012. Lebohang Secondary School won the 2012 competition, followed by Lethulwazi Secondary School, Amogelang Secondary School and Nkumbulo Secondary School. Lebohang, the winning school of the node for 2012, collected a massive 976kg’s out of the 1312,5 kgs of recycled material. The most recycled material collected was paper, followed by plastic bottles, tins, glass, cardboard, plastic and polystyrene.

The winning classes were taken on a fun and educational environmental excursion facilitated through WESSA Eco Schools. The Eco-Schools Programme is designed to encourage curriculum-based action for a healthy environment. All four schools registered with the Programme at the start of the year, with both teachers and learners committing to an on-going process of developing learner-based activities in line with the Curriculum. They choose one focus area, develop lesson and school improvement plans and record their progress in a portfolio. Each consecutive year, a new theme is added to the previous theme, portfolios are assessed at the end of each year, and successful schools gain Eco-Schools status and are awarded a certificate or a green flag. PETCO sponsored the second prize of PET pencil cases made from recycled PET and Nampak Recycling sponsored T-Shirts for the Eco Committees. PETCO also provided a floating trophy that was presented at the prize giving in December.

This year, Nampak was excited to launch the 2013 PENSchools Inter-Schools recycling competition in March. The competition will run until end August, giving schools longer to collect recyclables and avoid interfering with events such as end of term exams, as well as generate an additional form of income for the schools through the sale of the recyclable materials.

The success of the competition is based on constant motivation, whole school buy-in and an individual within the school to drive the programme forward. These have been identified as objectives for the PENSchools partnership to support for all schools going forward – allowing for increased education/awareness on the importance of recycling and greater volumes of recyclables into 2013.
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