The virtuous circle - food security, packaging & sustainable development
Home All News PRESS RELEASE – 24 November 2016
PRESS RELEASE – 24 November 2016

Landmark project “The Virtuous Circle” on nutrition, food waste, packaging and the circular economy launched today in South Africa

24 November 2016 Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: Today marks the launch of “The Virtuous Circle”, an innovative circular economy project, which is being rolled out in South Africa in 2016-2017. The project, coordinated by DuPont in close collaboration with Futurelife®, EqualTrade4, Amcor, Wildlands, RWPA and Wastebuster among others, employs a three pillar approach that addresses the challenge of the sustainability of plastics packaging whilst simultaneously tackling the broader societal objectives around education and childhood nutrition.

Over the coming months, hundreds of thousands of meals will be distributed to school children across South Africa. But that is just the first step in the journey. The packaging waste is then recycled into school equipment, such as school desks, and thirdly, children and teachers will be educated on the importance of sustainable waste management.

According to Sarah Perreard DuPont, Global Sustainability Value Chain Leader “We are excited to see the roll-out of this pilot project. It is encouraging to see industry, government and civil society working together on solutions that can tackle the challenges of feeding and food waste in a sustainable way”.

A video production, taking place today, will capture the delivery of Futurelife® Twin pouches to schools in South Africa, as well as the first wave of delivery of the Wildlands Green Desks. These innovative pouches are used to provide drinking water and Futurelife® Smart food™ in one package that can be easily transported over long distances to remote areas and requires no need for refrigeration. “Many learners come from food insecure households, walk great distances and arrive at school on an empty stomach. This solution provides them with a complete and balanced meal that allows them to participate actively in their academic day” says Julika Falconer, Director of the Futurelife® Foundation Trust.

The delivery of the pouches, as well as the collection of the empty packaging is assured by Wildlands Trust. “Because of its complexity, the plastic foil used in this type of pouch is typically difficult to recycle, but through a partnership with RWPA Solution, Wildlands has turned a challenge into an opportunity. The Wildlands Green Desks are produced out of the recycled packaging and then redistributed to the schools that took place in the feeding program” says Andrew Venter, CEO of Wildlands. “The purpose of the movie we are filming today is to show children around the world that packaging is needed to protect food, reduce food waste, and bring food to remote locations. The responsible gesture to collect waste and turn it into new, useful things like school desks is important to change behaviours, for example around littering. Through this project, the school children taking part in the pilot can experience the virtuous circle first hand”, says Katy Newnham, Founder of Wastebuster.

Project partners will be joined by inspirational singer songwriter Tresor who will be the ambassador for the project.