Italtile |Cape Town Water Crisis | Recycling Plastic Bottles


Judging by the growing demand for bottled water in Cape Town, most Capetonians are becoming more and more worried about the impact of day zero - the day that all taps will completely shut off. Stores have even reported that people are buying boxes worth of water - some stores are out of water within 30 minutes of opening.


One of the downsides to the increase in the demand for bottled water is the increase in plastic waste. The shores of Cape Town’s wetlands are plastered with plastic bottles, a problem that is only inevitable leading up to Day Zero. To prevent the environmental damage that the increase in litter can cause, we urge all Capetonians to recycle, dispose or donate all plastic bottles responsibly.


What should Capetonians do with their plastic water bottles?


Although there has been a lot of talk about health risks that come with reusing plastic bottles,

The South African Plastic Recycling Organisation stated that reusing most standard plastic water bottles is not harmful. PETCO, the organisation responsible for recycling plastic bottles, reached a recycling rate of 55% in 2016, clipping the heels of the European rate of 59% and almost doubling the US rate of 30%. Bottles can be recycled into new bottles for water or beverages or made into other products, such as reusable shopping bags and polyester for clothes and linen.


Capetonians are encouraged to re-use their water bottles at water collection points, especially 5-litre bottles. They should just make sure the bottles used for water storage are washed properly to remove any bacteria before refilling.


Do not throw away bottles when you are finished using them as they will end up in landfill sites and litter the environment. Rather take your bottles (with the caps left on) to one of the City of Cape Town drop off facilities so that the bottles can be recycled safely.


Many residents cannot afford bottled water or containers. Instead of throwing away your used bottles, donate them to needy residents or a local charity in need of water containers.


Additionally, when shopping for bottled water, keep in mind that clear and non-coloured plastic bottles are more easy to recycle as opposed to bottles with direct printing on the plastic, metal lids and shrink-wrap labels.


Italtile, together with K&H Freight, are transporting water from other parts of the country to the Cape Regions during this difficult time. Find out more here.


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