Project background and description
As the main partner of the project, The Sweetheart’s Foundation has been a predominantly voluntary operation for 13 years, working with partners such as the Polystyrene industry to promote the recycling and repurposing of materials. Subsequently, a number of similar initiatives have been run by various parties. With recent changes in the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) space, eWASA has been given the opportunity to partner with several stakeholders on a new project: Breadtags for Wheelchairs.
This project aims to prevent waste from entering landfills by collecting breadtags for recycling and repurposing them to provide wheelchairs to disadvantaged members of communities in South Africa.
According to data collected, the demand for wheelchairs in South Africa far exceeds the capacity of national and local governments to supply them, with long waiting lists and lost beneficiaries. The most disenfranchised members of the community in need of wheelchairs are children under 18 and pensioners over 60 years of age, many of whom are unemployed due to the constraints of their disability. The Breadtags for Wheelchairs project seeks to address this pressing need by providing the gift of mobility and independence to those who need it most.
Community Outreach: Working with communities to raise awareness about the rights of those living with disabilities and the importance of recycling. This is done through community workshops and outreach programs.
Corporate Partnerships: Partnering with corporate organizations to promote recycling and provide wheelchairs to those in need. Corporate partners provide financial support, donations of materials, and volunteer time to the foundation.
School Programs: Working with schools to educate students on the importance of recycling and the rights of those living with disabilities. This is done through recycling programs and awareness campaigns.
Residential Estate Initiatives: Partnering with residential estates to provide recycling programs and educate residents on the importance of recycling.
Customised Wheelchairs: Providing customised wheelchairs to children in need. This is made possible through generous donations and the support of volunteers.
Individuals: Providing support to individuals in need of wheelchairs who do not fit into the above categories.
*Please note that the scope may be subject to change based on the needs of the project and the resources available.
Sweethearts Foundation: the main partner in this project and provides project administration and oversight.
CE Mobility: a mobility solutions company that specializes in wheelchairs and mobility aids. They provide technical expertise and support for the customization and distribution of wheelchairs to beneficiaries.
QuadPara Association of SA: a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights and needs of people with mobility impairments. They provide support and guidance for the project's community outreach and education initiatives.
Supreme Mouldings: a manufacturer of polystyrene products and provides technical expertise and material donations for the recycling and repurposing of breadtags.
Envirolite: a recycling company that specializes in the collection and processing of various waste streams, including polystyrene. They provide technical expertise and support for the collection and processing of breadtags.
Goldpack – Kwikloc: a packaging solutions company that provides support for the project's corporate partnerships and fundraising initiatives.
Wessa (Eco Schools): a non-profit organization that works with schools to promote environmental education and sustainability. They provide support and guidance for the project's school programs and education initiatives.
Volunteers and organizations countrywide: The project relies on the support of volunteers and organizations across South Africa to help with community outreach, education, and fundraising. They provide vital support for the success of the project.
Tonnages expected to reach recycling targets and jobs created
Our project aims to provide a minimum of 50 wheelchairs annually to disadvantaged members of the community in South Africa, and to reduce the waiting time for wheelchair requests to no more than 6 months. We plan to achieve this by collecting and recycling a minimum of 10,000 kg of high impact polystyrene (Type 6 PS Plastic) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) annually.
In addition, we aim to partner with at least 5 corporate organizations and their corporate social responsibility programmes, 10 schools, and 20 non-profit organizations by 2024 to support our mission. This will not only help us to achieve our goals but also create employment opportunities for individuals in need.
To maintain a minimum of 70% volunteer retention rate by 2023, we plan to provide a conducive working environment and ensure that our volunteers feel appreciated and valued.
To ensure efficient operations and the achievement of our goals, we plan to employ a dedicated team member(s) who will oversee our daily activities and ensure that all objectives are met in a timely manner. This person(s) will work closely with our partners, volunteers, and beneficiaries to ensure that we are providing the highest level of service and impact to our community. By having a dedicated team member(s), we will be better equipped to scale our operations, increase our outreach efforts, and provide more wheelchairs to those in need while creating job opportunities for our community.