Hermanus Eco Project, an intelligent deposit system

The Founder

We met the founder of the Hermanus Eco Project, a community born on social networks, which aims to reduce the impact of consumption by the inhabitants of the town of Hermanus, located on the South African coast.

Retired, passionated about her ecological and social project, very conscious of the increasing degradation of our planet, this woman is above all very optimistic. She sincerely believes in the impact of small daily gestures which, put together, can change the future of the Earth.

The creation of the project

Three years ago, she decided, pushed by her family and friends, to set up a Facebook page to give her followers tips and tricks on how to reduce the amount of plastic in their daily lives. More and more visited, this page reinvents itself and becomes Hermanus Eco Project. On this new page, visitors can buy product. 

The concept

The idea is to involve customers and visitors who want to consume in a simplier and more responsible way. The gardening and maintenance products, all of which are biodegradable, compostable and/or recycled, are sold only in containers that have been previously brought by customers.

This method of operation makes it possible to reduce the price of the products, thanks to a deposit system. The customer brings a container (ice jar, used gift wrap, glass bottle, wicker basket...) and leaves it in return for a reduction in the price of the chosen product.

Based on the effort required to buy a product in her shop rather than in a supermarket, the founder of Eco Project helps her customers to invest themselves and feel proud of their actions.

The impact

This project has a two-dimensional impact. Firstly, from an ecological point of view, the quantity of plastic or other materials used for the packaging of the products sold is considerably reduced. 100% from recycling, no new containers need to be created. Secondly, from a social point of view, this concept aims at employing inhabitants of the poor suburbs around Hermanus in order to alleviate the unemployment issue which is very present in the country while helping young people to find their first job.

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