SPAR Eastern Cape managing director Conrad Isaac welcomes guests to the launch of Phase II of the STOP Plastic campaign at the Boardwalk Hotel in Port Elizabeth earlier this week. PHOTO: Leon Hugo

JOHANNESBURG - Retailer SPAR says it has launched the next stage of its Eastern Cape campaign against the use of plastic as it strengthens efforts to help clean up the environment.

Phase two includes R250,000 set aside for prizes which will be awarded to entities that come up with innovative ideas to make a difference, incoming SPAR Eastern Cape managing director Angelo Swartz, who will soon take over from Conrad Isaac, said at the launch in Port Elizabeth.

The campaign will kick off on Saturday with a promotion where SPAR customers will get a free paper bag for every 10 plastic bags they bring to a shop.

Since launching the campaign in April 2018, SPAR Eastern Cape has sold 4.3-million fewer plastic bags compared to the same period the previous year.

"We are going to stay committed to raising public awareness about the situation, not only by driving it through our products but also by telling people why they need to make a difference,” Swartz said.

“We are going to challenge society in general to come up with initiatives that really affect the community. To this effect, a total of R250 000 will be made available for prizes for new ideas that can make a difference."

He said the retailer would also continue to work with suppliers to achieve responsible packaging solutions.

"Plastic does have a place in our lives, but we have to find responsible ways to use it and to come up with innovative solutions for re-use," said Swartz.

African News Agency (ANA)