JSE-listed giants, Liberty Two Degrees -developers of some of South Africa’s finest commercial real estate, recently announced that it would implement a ‘no plastic shopping bag’ policy by 1 January 2020.
Liberty Two Degrees’ (L2D) portfolio includes Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Melrose Arch, and the Eastgate complex with a total of almost 2000 tenants who will all have to get rid of plastic shopping bags before the start of the new year. This bold new step was announced in a statement by L2D‘s chief executive, Amelia Beattie who said: “it is no longer a case of best practice to eradicate the use of plastic shopping bags but rather a commitment of paramount importance and necessity.”
L2D has already implemented recycling drop-off booths at Sandton City and Eastgate Mall and plan to expand this service to all their complexes.
We are committed to implementing this initiative to drive our sustainability imperative,” Amelia Beattie
This is not the first step by a local company to make efforts in banning single-use plastics. Last year, Woolworths began to trial a plastic-bag-free store in Tokai, Cape Town and then last month the company banned plastic at only three more stores in the country including Maroun Square in Johannesburg, Moreleta Village in Pretoria and Delcairn Centre in Durban.
While I’m proud South Africa has joined the global movement in banning single-use plastics, I do believe shopping outlets can do better than this, quicker than this – especially for the gluten-free-sustainable-organic-vegan-loving-oh-so-righteous brand Woolworths. To have property developers make the biggest first step than the actual perpetrators who sell all the plastic is quite disappointing.
In the same breath – Woolworths used close to 130,000 recycled plastic bottles to the manufacture of their R5 reusable bags which will now be sold at only 15 more stores across the nation.