Mobilizing Community Involement


What if your mobility relied upon a complete stranger’s willingness to set aside and recycle their plastic bottle tops and bread tags? Whilst this question may seem far reaching, this is the reality faced by those who simply can not afford the exorbitant costs and financial implications that come with the burden of a physical disability.

In November 2017 the Great Brak River Conservancy started collecting plastic bottle tops and bread tags for the Sweetheart Foundation, a nationwide NPO who uses the proceeds of recycled tops and tags to procure wheelchairs for those in need.

Due to the support and buy-in from the local community and the establishment of various collection points in and around Great Brak River this initiative has steadily grown. To date a staggering amount of over 4 615 kg of plastic bottle tops equating to roughly 2 million individual tops and 147 kg bread tags from approximately 558 600 loaves of bread have been collected, within Great Brak River, sorted and send via courier to Cape Town for upcycling. These vast amounts are hard to comprehend but to provide further visual representation, if all the bottle tops collected within this project were to be placed side by side in a single line they would span the distance between Great Brak River and Albertina.

In terms of actual impact this figures represent a lot more than impressive numbers. The sheer volume of tops and tags collected within Great Brak River is enough to procure 13 standard wheelchairs.

Whilst we celebrate the achievements of this project and the community buy-in that has led to it, the future of this initiative in Great Brak River is unfortunately uncertain. Due to the project’s successes being rooted in communal involvement it seems only fitting to reach out once again for support. Currently the shipping container we use to store the mountain of processed tops and tags before they are couriered in bulk to Cape Town is on its last legs. If alternative storage or a replacement shipping container is not found, the good work of this project is not likely to continue.

With the above in mind we would like to ask the reader to search within their hearts and minds in order to help us come up with a possible long-term solution which would provide both certainty and a future for this project. If you or your contacts are able to assist in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us at – any and all help will be much appreciated.

1 reply
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