Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

With just about every shop in Cape Town is selling more bottled water concerns have been raised about what will happen with all those empty plastic bottles.

Weekend Argus wanted to know from the City of Cape Town what its plans and suggestions are around avoiding yet another environmental catastrophe.

Xanthea Limberg, the city’s mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, said yesterday the plastic bottles could be donated to people who need it.

The City of Cape Town website offers more information about where to recycle plastic bottles. Picture: City of Cape Town website

“Many residents in the city aren’t able to afford bottled water or containers. Rather than throwing away your empty water bottles, consider donating them to fellow residents who may need containers for their water,” she said.

“Alternatively, contact your local charity to see if they are in need of additional water containers.”

The city has 23 recycling and waste drop-off facilities, listed on its website, where residents can drop off recyclables, as well as bulky garage and garden waste at no cost. ​

Limberg said: “There are also numerous private or community recycling drop-offs in Cape Town. Residents can find the recycling company closest to them by visiting our waste recyclers app.”

“The city has engaged with the PET Recycling Company, who agree that drop-off sites or recyclers are the best place to take your water bottles, as these are already connected to recycling companies who provide jobs through recycling.”

Recycling should ideally start at the initial point of consumption though, said Limberg.

“Residents should shop smartly for their bottled water. Plastic bottles which are clear and not coloured are more easily recycled. Bottles with printing directly on the bottle, metal caps or lids, paper labels or shrink wrap labels are also more difficult to recycle,” she said.