As reported by Green Building Africa, some of the biggest shopping malls in the country are going to be plastic bag free zones soon.
Liberty Two Degrees, which holds Sandton City in its impressive property portfolio, has announced that all the malls in their portfolio will be plastic free by 1 January 2020. Chief Executive Amelia Beattie explains:
“With rising levels of plastic pollution in our country and oceans, 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.”
The group will be partnering with Bana Bags to introduce plastic free bags in its shopping centres.
Bana Bags is a community-based organization from Alexandra, who will help to “ensure the continuation of education to encourage sustainable and environmentally friendly ways of doing business.”
The portfolio comprises predominantly retail real-estate assets in South Africa. In Johannesburg, the retail assets are an interest in the Sandton City Complex, the Eastgate Complex and Nelson Mandela Square.
Two regional shopping centres; Liberty Midlands Mall in KwaZulu-Natal and Liberty Promenade Mitchells Plain in the Western Cape are also included in the portfolio as well.
In addition, the Liberty Two Degrees portfolio includes Melrose Arch, the Liberty Promenade Midlands Mall in KwaZulu-Natal, and Botshabelo Mall in the Free State.
The group will also roll out recycling drop-off booths at their sites. The recycling drop-off booths which are already in place at Sandton and Eastgate will roll out to the rest of the portfolio giving the public no excuse for not recycling anymore.
Beattie said that her team is committed to implementing this initiative to drive their sustainability imperative, and added:
“The policy will be effective 1 January 2020, and as a sector benchmark, we are keen to continue to transform the retail industry in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
Liberty Two Degree tenants, many of whom have publicly praised the initiative, must be commended for embracing the property group’s vision for their malls.
They have thrown their support behind the effort to lower the impact that their stores have on the environment. However, banning plastic bags is only the beginning.
It also boils down to consumer trends, and any ‘plastic ban’ initiative will only work when we change our consumer habits and be more mindful of the waste we create.
Also read – Plastic recycling: What you need to know