One adult who picks up litter is setting a good example. But a large group of children who pick up litter can start a revolution.

Littering is bad for the environment. All one has to do is look around to see the effects of careless rubbish disposal.

Some of South Africa’s most littered areas are in poor communities and townships. Here, a clean environment often comes second to more pressing needs such as accessing clean water and food.

However, an unkept neighbourhood is often where serious crimes take place, and littering only contributes to this cycle of suffering.

Trash 4 Treats is a campaign devised to teach primary school children in previously disadvantaged communities the value of keeping a community clean. In return for bringing recyclable waste to school, children are rewarded with treats from their local spaza shop (local term for corner shop).


Trash 4 Treats was piloted for three months at the following 10 primary schools in the Western Cape, South Africa, with great success:

Isikhokelo Primary School
Tafelsig Primary School
Luleka Primary School
Chuma Public School
Soyisile Public Primary

Mitchells Heights Primary
Sakumlandela Primary School
Intshayelelo Primary School
Cornflower Primary School
Heinz Park Primary School

The project was delivered in stages in order to clearly promote the anti-littering message.

The launch event was called Pick Up to Eat Up. Learners participated in a lively and interactive educational talk about waste and recycling from a facilitator and the Trash 4 Treats mascot, Trashy.

Learners were then invited to clean their school grounds by collecting as much litter as they could, with the promise of a treat for the grade that collected the most waste.

In some communities, the most basic items such as refuse bags are not always readily available, so recycling packs with refuse bags were distributed to each learner to take home.

Colourful recycling bins were also placed in prominent areas on the school premises.

Learners were tasked with separating and cleaning recyclable waste and bringing these items to school to be collected and weighed. The school that collected the most recyclable waste was given R20 vouchers for each learner to spend at the local spaza shop. In addition, schools competed against
one another for cash prizes to be spent on upgrades: R30 000 for the winner; R10 00 for 2nd place and R5 000 for 3rd place.

We partnered with local waste collectors, Waste Want, to assist with the weighing and collection of waste collected by the learners. This also ensured the sustainability of the project as Waste Want continues to buy and collect recycled items from the schools.

In October 2019, we hosted a prize giving at the winning school to thank them for their participation and commitment to the environment and handed out the cash prizes and vouchers.

The top three schools were calculated according to total recycling collected and divided by the number of learners in each school:

1st | Mitchells Heights Primary | 1023kg (0,0203kg per pupil)
2nd | Sakumlandela Primary School | 520kg (0,0134 kg per pupil)
3rd | Intshayelelo Primary School | 571kg (0,0126 kg per pupil)


13 094 children and their families have collected a combined total of 5 261 kg of recyclable waste over a seven-week term. That’s the same as 3.75 black rhinos!

5 261kg = 3.75 Black Rhinos


INEOS plans to take Trash 4 Treats and its mascot Trashy to more schools in South Africa and abroad.

For more information on the project or to find out
how to get involved, please contact Shilpa on
+27 11 447 0427 or


INEOS is one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies operating across 171 sites in 24 countries around the world. Our products make the modern world possible, and most people rely on them every day. INEOS products make a significant contribution to saving life, improving health and enhancing standards of living of people around the world. It produces the raw materials that are essential to the manufacture of a huge variety of goods – from paints to plastics, textiles to technology and medicines to mobile phones. Safety, health and environmental performance is INEOS’ highest priority. INEOS tries to be a good neighbour and cares about the communities that it operates within, and actively seeks opportunities to support youth, sports or science projects. INEOS works with local schools and universities to develop understanding and talent within the fields of Science, Engineering and Technology, and with local sports clubs to encourage kids to take up sport and become active from an early age.


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