Primedia Outdoor supports Earth Day by investing in our planet

Primedia Outdoor demonstrates this year’s Earth Day theme, “Invest in Our Planet”, through its continuous commitment to providing green sustainable products, which are recyclable or upcycled, as well as supporting organisations that focus on sustainable growth and development.

‘Primedia Outdoor prides itself on finding innovative ways to reuse and repurpose materials in order to reduce wastage in the OOH industry and affect positive change in the organisations and communities that we support,’ says Jorja Wilkins, Executive: marketing and marketing services at Primedia Outdoor. ‘To-date, we have donated just over 15 000m2 of used billboard posters to be recycled, upcycled, and repurposed, contributing to our ongoing efforts towards sustainability.’

Furthermore, Primedia Outdoor also makes use of products and substrates that contain no PVC, are chlorine free and use 70% less emissions than PVC, resulting in a drastically reduced carbon footprint, namely:

– Fabric for interior billboards, lift banners and cubes.

– PP Paper for hanging banners which is light in weight and easy to install.

– PE for interior billboards.

– Graphit material used in taxi rank environments.

All LED inks used are GreenGuard and GreenGuard Gold certified, making them harmless to the environment and ideal for use in schools and hospitals.

These products are environmentally friendly in the following ways:

– Contain up to 50% naturally-derived monomers and oligomers derived from renewable resources such as plants or biomass

– Contain virtually no volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

– Do not contain heavy metals such as antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium (VI), lead, mercury, and selenium

– Do not contain greenhouse gases as defined by the European Commission and USEPA

– Do not contain REACH Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) as determined by the European – Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and last updated on 17 December 2014

– Are not considered hazardous waste under the U.S. waste regulations (RCRA)

Recycling and educational programmes

Use-It, KwaZulu-Natal works on a glass recycling project relating to innovation in solid waste management that incorporates local economic stimulation and job creation. This program seeks to mobilise people in all communities (rural, semi-urban and urban) to understand and promote the diversion of waste from landfill and to minimise environmental degradation. Primedia Outdoor’s waste flex is used to manufacture “glass bags”.  Waste pickers currently collect glass in bulk sugar bags (1ton), which creates a logistic backlog as a crane truck is needed to lift these bags for transport to the various application sites i.e., recycling/beneficiation. Reducing the size of the bag to a 500kg bag allows the bags to be loaded onto smaller vehicles for transport to the processing destination, thus reducing the turnaround time.

These bags are manufactured by a female-owned SMME in Primedia Outdoor’s incubation program at the Hammarsdale site, currently employing five people and supplying 50 waste pickers with these bags while services the collection of the glass weekly.

Go Grow! Educational Gardening Game utilises billboard material from Primedia Outdoor to build double layer tilapia fish ponds. In addition, they also had huge success growing pumpkins by using the material as a composing worm farm which fertilised pumpkins.

Eco Smart Group, a company that upskills, mentors and offers entrepreneurial support to disadvantaged women who do not have direct access to market opportunities, manages projects in the textiles industry using recovered waste plastic and South African fabrics and trims – One such project utilises recycling of Primedia Outdoor’s flex faces as lining inside sewed bags.

‘Not only have the communities benefited from direct job creation through opening their own businesses and the economic impact of that, they have also benefited by bringing specific causes to our attention that we assist with, these include internship positions for non-sewers, feeding schemes, disaster relief food parcels, mentorship, supplier negotiations and cash flow assistance,’ says Lise Kuhle, head of Eco Smart Group. ‘Our door is always open to someone who is proactive and hardworking and wants to make their situation better and by providing necessary training, capital, mentoring and/or practical business advice we can give that person a really good leg up.’