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    Cartoon Network Africa and ERA Team Up to Tackle E-Waste Crisis in SA

    Cartoon Network Africa, the leading kids’ TV channel in South Africa, is stepping up its game by partnering with the local E-Waste Recycling Authority (ERA) in an exciting new venture as part of its Climate Champions initiative. This collaboration aims to educate and empower children about the pressing issue of electronic waste (e-waste).

    As a registered Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO), ERA is at the forefront of e-waste recycling in South Africa. They work tirelessly to implement and enforce the country’s regulations on the proper disposal of electronic waste, a pressing issue given South Africa’s rapidly growing e-waste crisis. With e-waste being the fastest-growing waste stream, it’s shocking to note that only 10% of it currently gets recycled, leading to overflowing landfills and environmental degradation.

    A recent research survey by Cartoon Network revealed some startling facts about children’s awareness of e-waste. Conducted across the EMEA region, the survey found that 70% of kids aged 6-11 either hadn’t heard of e-waste or didn’t understand what it means. Highlights from the study include:

    • Only 30% of kids aged 6-11 truly understand what e-waste is.
    • Polish kids are the most aware, with 81% linking e-waste to its correct definition, compared to just 33% in South Africa.
    • In South Africa, a whopping 97% of kids have at least one e-waste item at home, but 64% either store or throw these items away rather than recycling them.

    To combat these issues, Cartoon Network will leverage its beloved characters and captivating storytelling to raise awareness about e-waste. By inspiring children to become e-waste warriors, the initiative aims to encourage recycling within homes and communities.

    Ashley du Plooy, CEO of ERA, emphasizes the importance of starting young: “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.”

    Cartoon Network Climate Champions’ new e-waste video content will air on the Cartoon Network channel, featuring a ‘Guide to E-waste’ that explains what e-waste is, why it’s an important issue, and how we can tackle it. The channel will also broadcast e-waste promos and share weekly updates on social media and YouTube to spread key messages far and wide.

    Monika Oomen, VP of Brand, Communications, and Digital Content Strategy for Kids EMEA at Warner Bros. Discovery, expressed her enthusiasm: “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 empowering them to become environmental champions.”

    With annual electronic waste generation projected to hit 82 million tonnes globally by 2030, initiatives like these are more important than ever. Cartoon Network’s Climate Champions initiative is designed to empower and inspire young people to take action. Kids aged 6-12 can participate in daily challenges like the ‘Device Rescue Mission,’ ‘No Crossed Wires’ challenge, and the ‘Phone Numbers!’ challenge to help tackle the e-waste problem.

    ERA also provides a comprehensive list of e-waste recycling drop-off points across the country, making it easier for families to dispose of their electronic waste responsibly.

    Together, Cartoon Network Africa and ERA are paving the way for a cleaner, greener future by educating the next generation on the importance of e-waste recycling.

    Main Image: Cartoon Network

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