City of Cape Town joins call for reduction of single use plastic

16 Jun 2022 in Where We Govern

The City of Cape Town would like to join the call for residents to be more conscious around the consumption of single-use plastic. Where possible rather use refillable containers, avoid certain plastic items or choose products that use alternative materials.

On the occasion of World Refill Day on 16 June 2022, the City of Cape Town would like to amplify the global call to invest in reuse and refill systems, as well as remind residents of recycling facilities available.

‘There are various organisations in South Africa and throughout the world that are developing alternatives to single-use plastic, or environmentally friendly businesses. I urge all Capetonians to do some research on businesses in their community and support those that are making an effort to reduce plastic. As consumers, we have a lot of power to make positive changes and use the basic tips provided to help reduce pollution in our environment.

‘Limitations of recycling have also become clearer in recent years. We can’t recycle our way out of our plastic problem. There are still far too many products that have non-recyclable plastic packaging, and an oversupply of recyclable plastic compared to the world’s capacity to treat and repurpose it.

‘Recycling remains an important cornerstone of a green society but there is more we need to do, as we embrace the full circular economy.  This includes designing waste and pollution out of our lives where possible, keeping products and materials in use as long as possible and regenerating natural systems,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.

Tips for reducing plastic waste

  • Use refillable cups at your local coffee shop, or reusable containers for takeaways where possible
  • Avoid take away straws and cutlery where possible, rather bring a set with you
  • Buy only what you need
  • Buy in bulk and cut down on products with lots of packaging – refills and concentrates generally require less packaging
  • Take your own bags to grocery stores
  • Buy products that are made from recyclable or recycled materials
  • Choose durable products that won’t need to be replaced often
  • Avoid buying disposable products where possible

You can also drop off residential or commercial waste recyclables via several waste management services, including drop-off sitesprivate recycling collection services or buy-back centres, industrial symbiosis and waste exchange or community-based programmes.

The City also runs a recycling collection service (known as Think Twice) in some areas at the moment, which is planned to expand progressively. Residents can check if they fall within the Think Twice areas, as well as find private waste management companies throughout Cape Town on the map:  Waste Recyclers Map (

Find out more about what household and commercial waste can be recycled with our Recycling guide.