A recycling project between the City of Johannesburg, Adcock Ingram Critical Care and Netcare is proving to be a pioneering and collaborative move for the healthcare industry.
The project is helping hospitals deal with their safe healthcare waste in ways that create functional new products – amazing school shoes for disadvantaged children.
The ground-breaking project, in which used non-hazardous intravenous infusion (IV) drip bags and tubing made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are recycled and turned into soles for school shoes, saw about 1 000 school shoes donated to children at Masakhane-Tswelopele Primary School in Zandspruit, on Monday 29 January.
The collaborative recycling project forms part of the City’s aim at creating more sustainable solutions for the benefit of the City and its residents.
“This fantastic initiative is aligned with the A Re Sebetseng mayoral project, a clean-up campaign encouraging all citizens to take pride in their environment, community and city,” said Mashaba, Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg.
“I am a strong believer in public and private partnership. We, as government, have no chance of doing it on our own so it’s incredibly exciting to be part of this project that is built on a joint effort between a pharmaceutical company, a private healthcare provider group and local government, to benefit impoverished children. This is the way of the future,” added Mashaba.
Mashaba said that the donation of school shoes was very close to his heart as he did not have school shoes as a child. “When you have shoes, you have pride,” stated Mashaba, a quality he believes is lacking in the poorest communities due to the conditions in which they are forced to live.
Colin Sheen, MD of Adcock Ingram Critical Care, stressed the ground-breaking aspect of the initiative. “It’s an honour for us to be working with the Mayor, the City of Johannesburg and Netcare on this extremely important project. This is an example of what can be achieved when the private and public sectors work together for the benefit of our environment and the upliftment of communities in need,” he said.
At the same time, Richard Friedland, CEO of Netcare Ltd, said that Netcare’s involvement in the project does not only show their commitment to reducing their environmental footprint but also shows the implementation of a more sustainable approach to healthcare, which is also beneficial to local schoolchildren.
“This project is just the beginning of a partnership in which the three parties have come together to all play a part in reducing waste, pollution and landfill sites, ultimately benefitting all citizens, who can look forward to a cleaner, greener, and better city,” said Friedland.
“We look forward to the meaningful difference this recycling initiative will make in the lives of individuals and communities as we expand it in the coming years.”
The City said that Masakhane-Tswelopele Primary School was chosen as a beneficiary because it is a Quintile 1 school serving the poorest of the poor, and the donation of school shoes to every child is an example of the positive impact a successful partnership between government and the private sector can have on individuals and the community.
“A pair of shoes is a practical gift which protects their feet from rough ground, dirt and cold, making the experience of learning and playing at school far more pleasant. We need more collaboration and recycling projects aimed at cleaning up our city and using repurposed plastics to provide much-needed, cost-effective products for disadvantaged communities,” concluded Sheen and Friedland.
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