How youth and business are learning environmental lessons from each other

Recently the 3rd Annual National Green Youth Indaba 2016 was held in Tshwane, Gauteng, with more than 500 hand-picked pioneering youth and more than 50 exhibitors making it South Africa’s biggest and most eco-prominent youth conference.

World Oceans Day Cleanup KZN 2016Plastics|SA < was invited to attend the Green Youth Indaba in recognition of the work the Association is doing to promote the recycling and recovery of plastics. Waste Management and Recycling were two of the key areas highlighted for discussion and Jacques Lightfoot (Sustainability Manager, Plastics|SA) was selected to facilitate a panel discussion with young recycling entrepreneurs and the audience under the auspices of the National Recycling Forum (NRF). According to Lightfoot, major emphasis was placed on the role of youth in the environment: "The panel discussion offered a unique opportunity for the NRF and audience members to hear first-hand about some of the exciting initiatives that our country’s young eco warriors are involved in,” Lightfoot said, adding that the importance of the recovery and recycling of recyclable materials in South Africa was a major discussion point that received a lot of air time during the panel discussion. World Oceans Day launch and Cleanup 2016 group pic“It was interesting to hear the different views as we discussed the most pressing environmental issues and green opportunities for youth within South Africa.

“Although the focus was on motivating and engaging young people to play a proactive role by addressing issues related to the sustainable development of our country, it was equally inspiring for us as an industry to attend and learn from them. It is important for us to assist our future youth leaders by creating platforms for them where they can be innovative, and learn to be meaningful players in the industry,” Lightfoot concluded.

Participating in an event such as the Green Youth Indaba, and interacting with business professionals such as Jacques Lightfoot, is great preparation for living and working in the competitive, globalised world of the future, where the ability level of the individual will be crucial, especially as human capital and critical thinking skills will continue to be the most important assets of our future society.