Breadtags For Wheelchairs: Celebrating 10 years of touching lives
Posted on 07 Sep 2017
Breadtags For Wheelchairs: Celebrating 10 years of touching lives
The Breadtags for Wheelchairs Project celebrated a decade of touching and improving the lives of handicapped recipients with a tea party that was held in honour of the co-ordinators and collectors in Stellenbosch. The event was sponsored by SASKO and the Polystyrene Packaging Council (PSPC). According to Adri Spangenberg, Director of the PSPC, more than 3000 wheelchairs were donated to recipients who are physically disabled and financially unable to purchase their own wheelchairs over the past ten years.

‘The Breadtags for Wheelchairs Project has grown from humble beginnings in somebody’s home in Cape Town, to a volunteer effort involving thousands of volunteers around the country. Today, we are proud to say that we managed to divert more than 4 tons of polystyrene from our country’s landfills thanks to the 10 buyers of the breadtags made from high density polystyrene, more than 200 collection points and 1000 co-ordinators who assist with the breadtag collection,’ Adri said.

The Breadtags for Wheelchairs network is made up of volunteer collectors and coordinators on the one side, who diligently accumulate approximately 210 kg of breadtags from schools, churches, businesses and community centres in in their area in order to purchase a standard wheelchair, costing around R1 600.00. On the other side, is a network of buyers such as Zibo Containers and MFI Mouldings, who pay R8.00 for each kilogram of breadtags that are collected and recycle them into seedling trays, cornices, skirtings, outdoor furniture, coat hangers, poles and decking. Bringing these two parties together and facilitating the process, is the PSPC who administers the programme by arranging for the breadtags to be collected and receives the payment from the recyclers. Once enough tags have been collected to cover the cost of the wheelchair selected, this money is then paid over to the pharmacy or wheelchair supplier of their choice.

Given that it is important to ensure that the correct wheelchair is purchased when seating quadriplegics, the PSPC also works closely with CE Mobility and the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) in assessing the requirements of the recipient and ensuring they get the right wheelchair for their needs.‘Our hands and our work have been significantly strengthened thanks to corporates such as SASKO, CE Mobility, QASA and Dischem who have come alongside us by providing additional funding, infrastructure, expertise and advice. Without their help, we would never have been able to grow the project to where it stands today,’ Adri said.

‘SASKO is proud to be associated with the Breadtags for Wheelchairs Project, because it resonates with our core values of caring for others and looking after the environment,’ said Lungie Mnyamana, Brand Manager Essential Foods: Bakeries at Pioneer Foods. ‘It is easy for everybody to get involved in the collection of breadtags, and makes a huge difference in the lives of many,’ she added. Various co-ordinators and collectors received certificates of recognition for their efforts, and a wheelchair was also handed over to Theresa Ellis, a grateful recipient of the Alta Du Toit Care Centre.

‘Not only has the small act of collecting breadtags touched the lives of the recipients, but it has changed and impacted the lives of each and every one of us that is involved in the project. Our sincere thanks to the thousands of collectors and coordinators who are involved in the project, as well as the companies who have come alongside us to help administer and grow the project. We look forward to growing the project even further during the next ten years,’ Adri concluded.