A Fish on a Mission

On 28 February 2020 Mfesane Secondary School in Motherwell was the first in Nelson Mandela Bay to take part in the Munch on the Move training programme and adopt Munch for a month.

In just two weeks of adopting the recycling deposit, the school’s environmental club learners filled Munch with litter from their school grounds. “The Environmental club coordinator, founder and teacher, Ms Patricia Mapuma was very proud of the environmental club learners! Regardless of how busy they were with exams, that didn’t stop them from conducting waste accumulation surveys during breaktime,” said SST Head of Education Nozi Mbongwa.

Each week, the school conducted litter accumulation surveys on the school grounds over a period of 3 days. However, they could not complete week three surveys due to the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in school closures.

The litter collected was sorted using Munch, who is divided into five waste components: plastic caps, PET bottles, paper, HDPE plastic items and aluminium cans. The Waste Trade Company collected the recyclables, and here are the results below:

White paper = 27 kg

Aluminium cans = 6 kg

HDPE plastics = 6 kg

PET plastic bottles = 12 kg

Bottle caps = 5 kg

Lollipop sticks = 1 bag

To evaluate if Munch could lead to increased awareness, SST conducted surveys with 150 children at the school before the project was introduced. The surveys will be used as a baseline to determine the amount of knowledge, understanding and awareness about plastic pollution at the school. SST will go back to the school to conduct follow up surveys and assess whether Munch proved to be effective.

“I really loved the dedication and commitment from Mfesane Secondary School learners, they really want to keep their school grounds clean. Munch was full in just two weeks; this has made me rethink the size of Munch. Some school are in great need of infrastructure and bins to help them collect and separate their waste. We want to make a slightly bigger Munch for schools that don’t receive waste collection services,” said Mbongwa.

We’d like to give a big thank you to The Waste Trade Company for collecting the recyclables, and another big thank you to Pickfords for transporting Munch to and from the schools.

You can read more about the Munch on the Move programme here.

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