Waste pickers don't realise they're saving the planet

Petco, South African Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Recycling Company, 2016 recycling figures shows that plastic bottle recycled tonnage in SA has grown by over 800% since 2005.

But what is the psychology behind why people don't recycle?

Naledi Mqhayi, Clinical Psychiatrist, says recycling is a conscience decision and there has to be a means to it.

She says recycling in South Africa is a new concept and South Africans are still getting used to the idea.

For a very long time, we were used to throwing away things ... it is only now that people became more conscience of what they were doing and they would do it if they are encouraged or if there is a benefit to doing it.

Naledi Mqhayi, Clinical Psychiatrist

Mqhayi says not everyone understands the benefits of recycling. Sometimes people who are collecting bottles, paper, and glass for money don't know that they are saving the planet.

Human beings have the tendency of if it doesn't affect me now I don't see effects immediately so I can postpone it.

Naledi Mqhayi, Clinical Psychiatrist

Human beings tend to behave better when they know there is a reward at the end of the day.

Naledi Mqhayi, Clinical Psychiatrist

To hear more of this conversation and listeners comments, listen below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Most supermarket plastic bags not recyclable

Most supermarket plastic bags not recyclable

South African Plastic Recycling Organisation says the use of fillers to make the bags cheaper sabotages recycling.

City aims to save 10% of both electricity and water by 2020

City aims to save 10% of both electricity and water by 2020

MEC of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde urges residents to get into a habit of recycling and start saving water and electricity.

The Science of Waste-to-Energy: Producing 5% of Cape Town's gas

The Science of Waste-to-Energy: Producing 5% of Cape Town's gas

Egmont Ottermann CEO at New Horizons Energy explains how they turn 500 tons of waste a day into gas.

Preschool kids nifty recycling water project reaps rewards

Preschool kids nifty recycling water project reaps rewards

Kids Company children carry buckets of water otherwise wasted from hand washing to water the lawn.

Dunoon Primary School needs computers

Dunoon Primary School needs computers

NGO My Dunoon is looking for PCs for the local primary school.

Tips on how to repurpose grey water for your garden

Tips on how to repurpose grey water for your garden

Water from your bath, shower, washing machine and kitchen sink can be used to water gardens during level 3 water restrictions.

Cape Town Level 3 water restrictions in full force

Cape Town Level 3 water restrictions in full force

Here are full details of City of Cape Town's Level 3 water restrictions.

Popular articles
Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

The new Home Affairs upgrades to the system include printing parents details at the back of the child's passport.

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

The UK’s Food Standards Agency issued an advisory, claiming that Rolkem failed to confirm that their ingredients were safe to eat.

KFC South Africa’s Neymar mocking ad… so epic, Nando’s would be proud!

KFC South Africa’s Neymar mocking ad… so epic, Nando’s would be proud!

The South African ad is still trending around the world. Bruce Whitfield interviews branding and advertising expert Andy Rice.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

The Panorama, Welgelegen and Plattekloof Neighbourhood Watch has identified a new house break-in trend.