Cartoon Network Africa Tackling E-Waste in South Africa

Cartoon Network Africa Tackling E-Waste in South Africa

Cartoon Network Africa, the leading kids’ TV channel in South Africa, is partnering with the local E-Waste Recycling Authority (ERA) as part of its Climate Champions initiative. The collaboration aims to educate and empower children about the increasing challenge of electronic waste.

As a registered Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO), ERA is dedicated to improving e-waste recycling in South Africa and is a leader in electronic waste management. The organisation facilitates and implements the country’s regulations on the proper disposal and management of electronic waste, as laid out by South Africa’s Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations, which came into effect in 2021.

The partnership comes at a crucial time as South Africa grapples with an escalating e-waste crisis. With only 10% of e-waste currently being recycled, it contributes to landfills quickly reaching capacity. E-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream, growing three times faster than general municipal solid waste.

A research survey undertaken by Cartoon Network found that 70% of children aged 6-11 across the EMEA region had not heard of e-waste or were aware but not sure / had no idea what it means. Results from the study show that:

  • The majority of kids are aged 6-11 years. Claim to have heard of e-waste, but in reality, few (30%) know what it means
  • Kids in Poland (47%), Turkey (37%) and South Africa (28%) are more familiar with e-waste than peers in the UK (19%) and France (17 %)
  • Polish kids (81 %) are notably more likely to link e-waste with the correct definition vs other markets; South Africa (33%), the UK (26%) & France (19%) under-index
  • Most kids (87 %) have at least one e-waste item at home, with South Africa being above the index at 97%, with kids’ toys, headphones, and tablets among the top three items
  • 64% of kids in South Africa say they store e-waste items at home or throw them away, highlighting the need for education

Source: EMEA Kids Insights, primary research survey conducted on the Quantilope platform, Aug’23; sample size n=1,500, Audience: Kids aged 6-11 yrs.; Markets: UK, South Africa, France, Turkey & Poland

Through the partnership with ERA, Cartoon Network will use its beloved characters and engaging storytelling to teach children about e-waste, its problems, and how recycling can be a solution. The aim is to inspire children to become e-waste warriors, advocating for recycling in their homes and communities.

Ashley du Plooy, CEO at ERA says:

“Understanding what happens to rubbish is good to learn from childhood. Technology is such a big part of kids’ lives these days and it’s crucial that they understand the importance of recycling e-waste from a young age. Electronics can have a second life – even broken toys with cables or batteries can be transformed into something new! That’s because they often have valuable materials. Recycling them correctly also safeguards the environment for future generations.”

By combining education with entertainment, Cartoon Network Africa and ERA hope to cultivate a generation of environmentally aware children who comprehend the significance of responsible e-waste management.

Cartoon Network Climate Champions’ new e-waste video content will air on the Cartoon Network channel and includes a ‘Guide to E-waste’ video that explains what e-waste is, why it’s an important issue and the basics of how we can help tackle it.  Cartoon Network will also air e-waste promos, explaining issues around e-waste with a call to action on how kids can get involved in tackling it, and share weekly uploads to its social and YouTube channels to help broaden the reach and drive key e-waste messages home.

Monika Oomen, VP of Brand, Communications, and Digital Content Strategy for Kids EMEA at Warner Bros. Discovery, expressed;

In our efforts to engage kids into climate action, the partnership with ERA is a vital addition to our Cartoon Network Climate Champions campaign, by combining Cartoon Network’s commitment to engaging storytelling with ERA’s expertise in e-waste management, we can reach kids on a platform they love while empower them to become environmental champions.”

This comes as annual electronic waste generation is on track to reach a staggering 82 million tonnes globally per year by 2030, including items such as mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players, plugs, and batteries.

Cartoon Network’s Climate Champions initiative empowers and inspires young people to act and help the environment. Kids aged 6-12 can become Climate Champions by taking up daily challenges and making a world of difference together. Among the many e-waste challenges available are the ‘Device Rescue Mission,’ where children check their homes for old electronic devices that can be recycled, the ‘No Crossed Wires’ challenge, which involves taking care of chargers by preventing damage from wire tangles, and the ‘Phone Numbers!’ challenge, where kids count the number of mobile phones in their homes, including unused ones.

In addition to helping kids understand the extent of the e-waste problem, ERA has a comprehensive list of e-waste recycling drop-off points around the country. Living sustainably with technology means ensuring all ageing and failed electronic products are discarded using trusted e-waste recycling points that prevent the materials from ending in landfills.

For more information on how to become a Cartoon Network Climate Champion, you can visit the Climate Champions website or download the Climate Champions app and discover facts  and trivia about e-waste, new quizzes, new voting cards, and new videos featuring real kids talking about the issue of electronic waste, and new e-waste challenges that can ‘Make a World of Difference.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *