Comrades inspired to #GOGREEN

The #GOGREEN campaign was rolled out along the 56km route of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. Photo: Em Gatland

The #GOGREEN campaign – a waste management and anti-littering movement – was launched at the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon earlier this year. It is a partnership between Old Mutual and Wildlands, and is supported by Polyco.

Polyco (Polyolefin Recycling Company NPC) is a not-for-profit industry body which aims to achieve greater diversion of plastics from landfill, and supports the recycling industry by funding waste collection, recycling, and new end-use growth projects. #GOGREEN aims to provide a practical solution for collecting waste from athletes and spectators at endurance events, while discouraging littering and promoting upcycling and recycling.

Approximately 16 tons of waste was collected from the 56km route of the race, some of which is set to be recycled into the production of a number of double-seater Green Desks, and distributed to disadvantaged schools in the Cape to help address the desk shortage in South Africa.

The #GOGREEN campaign being rolled out along the 56km route of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon.
Photo: Em Gatland

The Comrades Marathon Association was inspired by the success of the Cape Town campaign and is now working with Wildlands to implement the #GOGREEN project along 27km of the 87km Comrades route.

There will be 300 #GOGREEN Throw Zones along the 27km allocated to Wildlands, which means that runners will see a bin on either side of the road every 150 metres.

A team of about 100 Wildlands recycling staff will ensure the area allocated to #GOGREEN and Wildlands will be spotless once the race is over. They will also ensure all the waste collected is sorted and baled for transportation to the headquarters of Rural Waste Poverty Alleviation Solutions, where it will be transformed into more Wildlands Green Desks which will be distributed to needy KwaZulu-Natal schools.

Old Mutual’s Head of Brand, Karen Thomas, said one of the most exciting aspects of the company’s sponsorship of events like the Comrades, is that it allows them to be innovative and to connect with people in a direct and engaging way. “This year, mindful of our responsibility to make the world a better place, we are proud to be part of the #GOGREEN campaign, which aligns strongly with our responsible business philosophy.”

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Sonwabile Antonie

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