RECYCLED PLASTIC SCHOOL DESKS
Updated: Mar 10
Food products and yoghurt manufacturing company Danone SA is providing COVID compliant desks to seven ECD (Early Childhood Development) schools, five of which are based in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, where its production facility is situated. The desks are made from recycled plastic yoghurt cups; 914 yoghurt tubs (1kg) make up the desk frame and 245 of the six packs are used for the top part of the desk.
Converting waste into resources addresses a social need in two ways: the immediate one is that of providing much-needed desks for social distancing in schools; it also helps Danone fulfil its commitment of no waste to landfill by 2030. Through this initiative, the company will transform 19 tonnes of waste into school desks. In terms of the social distancing guidelines published by the Department of Social Development in June 2020, these seven ECD schools can now ensure that their young learners are kept at least one metre apart.
Leading the way in making sustainable changes for the future, Danone was the first yoghurt manufacturer to sign the SA Plastics Pact more than a year before the Waste Management Act was put into effect in November 2020. The Act puts pressure on all South African producers to implement more sustainable measures.
Danone has committed to recycling and donating a further 270 recycled desks t additional schools around Gauteng. The campaign is an excellent example of innovation in the sustainable space as it not only implements recycling and upcycling practices, reducing waste, but also provides much-needed resources to children and facilities in need.
Danone sustainability manager Henk van der Hyde says he hopes their commitment will encourage others in the industry to make collective progress towards ensuring that all plastic packaging is recycled.