Swop Shop Project trial run

Nurayn Ismail and Gerhard Marais receive recyclable goods from children at Houghton Primary School.

Houghton Primary School together with Miss Earth South Africa contestant, Nurayn Ismail launched a trial run of the Swop Shop Project on 31 August.

This project was originally launched in Mpumalanga and achieved great success. With this success, Ismail then decided to implement the project at Houghton Primary School, where she is also a teacher.

The principle of the project is to encourage schoolchildren to bring recyclable rubbish to a community centre and earn points based on a number of recyclable items they bring. In exchange, the children can use their points in order to buy a variety of goods including stationery and food.

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Gerhard Marais, who started the Emba Swop Shop in Embalenhle with two friends, helped Ismail set up the project concept at Houghton Primary School.

Marais said that for the trial run, children were encouraged to bring as many recyclable items as possible and in exchange they would receive a goodie bag. However, he added that in order for the Swop Shop to run smoothly it would take a lot of work to set it up properly.

“It would be fun to expand it and there are ways to make it a bit simpler as there are a lot of logistics involved,” said Marais.

Ismail said she decided to start the Swop Shop in Gauteng on the Miss Earth platform in order to encourage children to increase their recycling.

“Today’s aim is really to get people aware of the aim of the Swop Shop and the importance of recycling,” said Ismail.

The principal of Houghton Primary School, Andrew Morris; Miss Earth SA contestant, Nurayn Ismail; and Gerhard Marais who started the Embo Swop Shop.

“As part of Miss Earth, I thought it would be great to combine the two. We still need to work out the way we’re going to work the Swop Shop. We hope to have it running by January next year in at least one school in each area and eventually target all schools.

“A lot of schools don’t put a lot of effort into recycling. A lot of schools have [recycling bins] but it’s not encouraged and children don’t know what to do. One of the goals I have is to implement it into the syllabus.”


Tell us what you think of the Swop Shop concept on WhatsApp 079 695 2627

Laura Pisanello

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