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:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Waste pickers don't realise they're saving the planet


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