JSE-listed real estate giant Liberty Two Degrees (L2D), which owns some of South Africa’s top shopping malls, says it will implement a “no plastic shopping bag” policy at its malls by 1 January 2020.

Some 1,808 tenant shops may have to drop plastic bags by the end of the year.

L2D’s shopping mall portfolio includes Sandton City, Melrose Arch, and the Eastgate complex.

L2D decided to take the “bold step to implement a ‘no plastic shopping bags’ policy across our malls to ensure that change starts with us,” said Amelia Beattie, the company’s chief executive, in a statement.

“With rising levels of plastic pollution in our country and oceans, it is no longer a case of best practice to eradicate the use of plastic shopping bags but rather a commitment of paramount importance and necessity. We are committed to implementing this initiative to drive our sustainability imperative,” said Beattie.

It has already introduced recycling drop-off booths at Sandton City and at Eastgate, and this will be expanded to all its malls.

In Johannesburg, more than 740 tenants at Sandton City will be affected, as well as 425 tenants at the Eastgate Complex and 171 tenants at Nelson Mandela Square.

The company also owns Liberty Midlands Mall (240 tenants) in KwaZulu-Natal, and Liberty Promenade Mitchells Plain (172 tenants), in the Western Cape.

In addition, L2D has interests in the mixed-use precinct of Melrose Arch and the newly developed Botshabelo Mall (57 tenants), in the Free State.

*businessinsider

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