Coast KZN

06 Nov 2016

Eco-activists slam retailer’s plastic toys

Siyavuya Mzantsi (Cape Times)


Environmentalists labelled Pick n Pay’s Stikeez campaign as a lost opportunity for a large company to drive environmental responsibility and education.

The Greenwood Bay College in Plettenberg Bay has asked pupils to refrain from bringing the toys to school, citing environmental reasons.

The college said the move was driven by parents.

School marketing manager Leigh Gips said: “We feel that it has had a positive impact on our students, teaching them not only to question things, but also to take more responsibility for their actions and what knock-on effect they may have.

“We are hoping that creating awareness about the impact of plastic, especially plastic that may end up in our oceans, will lead to responsible citizenry.”

On its website, the Two Oceans Aquarium said the announcement of another Pick n Pay Stikeez drive raised concerns among members of the public and environmental organisations.

“The issue is the fact that more unnecessary (and essentially single-use) plastic waste is being introduced into the environment via a major national retailer, utilising their substantial customer base.”

The Two Oceans Aquarium said many concerned members of the public have turned to the aquarium to take action against the toys.

Eco Atlas founder and environmentalist Rhian ?Berning said, Pick n Pay should have opted for an ?educational campaign with no side effects rather than the ?plastic that “inevitably” lands up in sea-birds and turtles’ tummies.

“So many positive, inspiring creative options are available out there.

“But instead they chose ?Stikeez.

“And quite frankly, neither the children nor the planet have the time to waste on anything that is not building a future beautiful for all,” she added.

Berning said the campaign was an “old paradigm” where the so-called “greenies” were the whip-crackers who spoil the fun that could be had on the planet.

“The most frustrating thing about the Stikeez debacle is that it has created an ?opposition, which places those who want to make conscious choices for the health of people and planet in direct opposition to those who just want to ?have a bit of well-deserved fun.”

Pick n Pay group executive of strategy and communications David North said: “The concern about Stikeez seems to stem partly from a concern that they are being thrown away.

“In reality, our customers love collecting them, swopping them and putting them in their albums.

“They keep their collections and their albums long after the campaigns end.”

He said there was an important debate to be had about how we all reduce our use of non-renewable ?resources

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