Zimgold recently announced an interesting initiative meant to contribute to the National Clean-up Campaign. This is a noble move given how litter continues to be a menace in Zimbabwe. I always have a habit of going over the packaging of almost any product I buy. I have noticed for the most part that most packaging is recyclable or reusable. However, you still have lots of litter lying around or seeing recyclable material burnt. It is not supposed to be so because anything recyclable should be recycled. It is beneficial to us by having a cleaner environment and it cuts down on overheads for businesses. Anyways, let us look at something that Zimgold recently announced. Then I will spend the greater part of this article discussing some important thoughts.
Zimgold’s Initiative – Collect Empty Reusable Boxes And Win
Zimgold announced through its social media platforms about this promotion of sorts. All one needs to do is to collect 200 empty reusable boxes and they get a full box of cooking oil. Once you have collected the reusable boxes you bring them to Zimgold offices at 72 Lytton Road, Workington in Harare. The box of cooking oil you will get will have 12 2-litre bottles. So in essence you will get 24 litres of cooking in exchange for 200 reusable boxes of Zimgold cooking oil. This initiative is running till the 31st of December 2021.
Good Or Bad Initiative?
Overall, the initiative is quite good. It is creative and can go a long way in at least dealing with littering. However, the terms are a bit skewed and deterrent. Who amongst you can say they can easily put together 200 empty reusable Zimgold boxes? That number is too high and will only end up confining the initiative to a privileged few. Probably someone who owns or has access to a wholesale stands a good chance of getting them.
For the rest, chances are slim to none. Yet it is ironic that littering concerns usually affect the vast majority – who most likely cannot collect 200 boxes. Thus they will not even bother to find them knowing they might not achieve that number. That is even worsened by the fact that the initiative will end soon. My recommendation is that in the future they should make it possible for many people to participate. Otherwise, the initiative is quite good.
Let Us Start A Culture In Zimbabwe – Proper Waste Management And Recycling
What Zimgold has put together serves as inspiration. I believe that enterprises in Zimbabwe must draw inspiration from this. Imagine every enterprise that involves some form of packaging rolling out such an initiative. We could go a long way in addressing waste management and recycling issues in Zimbabwe. The enterprises stand to benefit immensely from a reduction in their overheads. Packaging tends to constitute a significant cost in the cost structure of product development. Being able to reuse or recycle would play out to their advantage. Having such initiatives would incentivise Zimbabweans to have a culture of not recklessly littering. Enterprise must start thinking of promotions based on people collecting and submitting recyclable or reusable packaging material.
There is also another opportunity that can be leveraged. Most buildings have bins for throwing litter – starting from our homes. It is high time we start properly disposing of or managing litter. Recyclables or re-usable items no longer have to be mixed with non-recyclables. They should be disposed of and managed separately to encourage recycling and re-usage. That culture of using colour-coded or labelled bins or bin compartments now needs to be encouraged more. I usually go to NEC Lodges and Villas when I have quick engagements to do in Harare. I like that their rooms have bins with two separate compartments as I just mentioned. This must become a culture that starts from homes all the way to anywhere people spend their time.
Once those two, namely, promotions and recycling-themed waste management are cultivated we will be well on course. It will become everyone’s focus and mindset to properly dispose of or manage waste or litter. In other countries, even public bins are colour-coded or labelled. It is because the culture I am encouraging has become the mainstream. We need to see that becoming a thing in Zimbabwe as well; it is doable.