The Story behind the Woolworths journey

Woolworths SA
18th November 2018

Creating much needed employment with recycled materials.

Recently, while hiking down Table Mountain among the most beautiful wildflowers, I thought back over the last few months. The flowers were exquisite, some growing through the ashes left behind by a previous fire that ravaged the fynbos on Table Mountain.  

Back in June I told one of my colleagues that the struggle to find consistent work for all our projects was taking its toll on myself and my family. I felt I couldn’t continue in this way for long. The next week, however, kicked off with the Woolworths Visual Merchandising team’s inquiry about the possibility of our creating flowers for their Christmas window. The outcome was uncertain, but I decided to go ahead anyway, because I knew that if we went for it, there would be a dream team behind us. 

Months of collaboration followed. We had to rework their original design suggestions to incorporate recycled materials. The hardest part was definitely the collection and cleaning of over 10 000 units of 2l milk bottles, water containers and cutlery. This plastic waste was collected at the Woolworths Head Office, neighbouring schools, recycling and sorting facilities and via social media appeals and neighbourhood newsletters, from informal settlements to Contantia.

Here is a picture of one of our volunteer’s appeals to neighbours and friends to drop off used milk and water containers. Were it not for this kind of support, completing this massive project would have been impossible.

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