The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) took time to acknowledge businesses in the hospitality industry in Johannesburg who have embraced glass recycling and made it an integral part of their business. TGRC is South Africa’s official organization for promoting glass recycling with their core objective of keeping glass alive by promoting the practice of recycling this environmentally friendly packaging.
TGRC visited some of the top performing hospitality establishments to hand over engraved glass plaques in recognition of their inspiring green behavior. The ten venues and restaurants in Gauteng recognised for their glass recycling volumes, in no specific order are:
- Casalinga (Muldersdrift)
- Giles Pub (Craighall Park)
- Jackson’s Real Food Market (Bryanston)
- Morningside Country Club (Morningside)
- Pirates Club (Greenside)
- Society Eatery and Craft Bar (Fourways)
- The Peech Hotel (Melrose North)
- Tin Cup Driving Range and Restaurant (Alberton)
- Whisk Wine Bar (Irene, Centurion)
- Zoo Lake Sports Club (Parkwood)
“We are very proud to be able to reward and commend top performing establishments in the hospitality sector for their glass recycling efforts. We encourage the hospitality sector to recycle their glass (bottles and jars) and, while we are impressed by the trend of ‘being green’, we need more commitment from bars, restaurants and hotels. Ultimately, we need these venues to live their green credentials. We encourage these establishments to continue recycling all their glass and take it to the next level, as it has a progressive impact on the environment. We challenge others to start recycling as it is one of the easiest ways for them to have a positive impact on the world in which we live….” Says Shabeer Jhetam, the CEO for The Glass Recycling Co.
Jhetam also mentioned that, in twelve years TGRC has increased the glass recycling rate from 18% to 41.5%. WOW!! I couldn’t help but dig for more knowledge from this inspiring gentleman.
Kiki: What made you go into Glass Recycling?
Jhetam: I was in Can Recycling, at Collect a Can. Then the Glass Industry was looking for someone to head up the Glass Recycling Company, and that was 13years ago. They had a few candidates and I happened to be the lucky one.
Kiki: You said 13years ago? So you’ve been in the Glass Recycling Industry for 13years? That’s a long time.
Jhetam: I’ve been there since 2006, so I’d say just over 12years.
Kiki: What challenges have you come across in the glass recycling side compared to the can side?
Jhetam: Every packaging has its own challenges. Right now I’d say, people at the upper LSM Groups still don’t want to recycle. Whether it’s glass, cans, plastic they don’t recycle. It’s the low end market that recycles.
Kiki: What plans do you have in place to encourage people to recycle?
Jhetam: We spend a lot of money in creating awareness through different channels like Advertising. We also communicate with Educators so they can teach the learners what to do about glass recycling. Currently we are trying to get the government involved to put legislation to make separation at source compulsory. People know what to do but they don’t do it because it’s not compulsory and it doesn’t hurt them in any way.
Kiki: Speaking of separation at source, I do believe that every action has to start at home. What suggestions would you give to ordinary folk like me? How do I practice that in my own home?
Jhetam: Look at it this way, why do people have to dig into the trash to separate glass from cans, from wet waste etc? Why don’t you separate it for them? Because digging through Nappies, and all that other dirt is actually demeaning. We must give dignity back to people. Those guys are out there not resorting to crime, they choose to earn an honest living. Make it easier for them by separating your waste so that they can just grab that bag of the recyclables they need without having to dig in the trash.
Kiki: You have actually opened my eyes because I do exactly what you are telling me shouldn’t be done. I don’t separate my waste. To me trash is trash. Now that you mention those guys I see pulling those big trolleys in the street I feel bad and guilty. I promise you, I am going to do better.
Jhetam: That is all we are asking for Kiki. Everyone has to do their part.
Kiki: Are you only focused on South Africa or you work with other African countries?
Jhetam: We get glass from neighboring countries like Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Southern Africa has been good to us. There are no glass plants in the other countries, so it has to come back either to Gauteng or Western Cape where there’s glass plants and then it’s recycled into new product.
Kiki: I am glad other African countries are also coming through. Thank you so much for educating me.
I personally learned a lot from the few minutes I spoke to Mr. Jhetam. It is our responsibility to go green. Let’s start at home. Take that first step and make a difference.
For tips and advice on how YOU can make a difference, visit their website www.tgrc.co.za