Plastics Industry Pledges for new Penguin Hospital

The South African plastics and packaging industries managed to raise an incredible R45 000 during last week’s Propak Cape Exhibition by inviting companies and individuals to pledge funds for a much needed seabird hospital at SANCCOB’s Cape Town centre.

According to Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics|SA, leaders in the packaging industry and individuals did not hesitate to dig deep into their pockets for the #Ipledgesustainability campaign when they visited the Packaging SA / Sustainability pavilion where the fundraising took place.

“Our sincere thanks to Nampak, Pailpac, Polyoak Packaging, Extrupet, Tetrapak, Polyco, Bené Water, SANBWA, PETCO and Gundle Plastics for pledging towards the SANCCOB Saves Seabirds Project. We are very proud of the funds that we managed to raise in only three days,” Steyn said. By purchasing a R50 raffle ticket on the stand, individuals could win one of two picnic tables made from recycled plastic, courtesy of Tufflex Plastic Products.

Francois Louw, Fundraising and Marketing Manager for SANCCOB, confirmed that the funds raised will help them take a big step towards reaching their target of R5 million needed for the new facility.

“Our seabird centre in Table View has been in operation for 33 years and has served the needs of more than 95 000 seabirds. However, the elderly buildings and facilities are now in desperate need of renovation. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of the plastics and packaging industries this past week which will help us build a new and better seabird hospital”.

Apart from increasing SANCCOB’s capacity (they currently admit around 2000 seabird patients every year), the upgrade will also include a surgery, an Intensive Care Unit, a new X-ray room, laboratory, three new pools, an aviary, as well as several new pens and preparation areas when construction is completed at the end of 2017.

“Seabirds and penguins are often the first casualties when disasters such as oil- or pollution spills hit our coasts.  Both Plastics|SA and Packaging SA have signed the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter – a global declaration and public commitment made by the international plastics community to address the issue of plastics in the marine environment, which was launched in March 2011. Raising funds for the SANCCOB hospital fits in with our focus and mandate of Operation Clean Sweep in which we aim to find workable solutions for all aspects of marine pollution,” Steyn concluded.