How Comrades Marathon medical teams are going green this year

Gcina Ndwalane/African News Agency (ANA)

Gcina Ndwalane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 4, 2019


Durban - This year's Comrades Marathon which will see thousands of runner embark on up-run from Durban to Pietermartizburg will see a new green initiative by the organisers who plan minimise waste at the medical tents by recycling used intravenous (IV) drips  into shoes.

According to the  Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) this is a first for the Comrades medical tent and will be done in partnership with Netcare and Adcock Ingram Critical Care.

All used IV drip bags will be collected in Adcock Ingram branded containers in the Comrades Medical facility, instead of being discarded with the rest of the medical waste, as was the case previously.

 Adcock Ingram Critical Care and Netcare’s joint project is about recycling used PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) non-contaminated and non-hazardous Intravenous Fluid Bags into school shoes which are donated to children who arein need. 

The partnership culminated in the creation of a non-profit company called ‘My Walk’ that will give effect to this vision. This project is more than just providing underprivileged children with school shoes, it is about giving a child an opportunity to feel proud to walk in them, and to increase their school attendance especially during the cold winter months.

My Walk also supports job creation by developing people through enterprise development, and also includes all those who are involved in the processes from the recycling of PVC, to the manufacture of the school shoes. 

“We are pleased that this initiative is also very much in line with preserving our environment by reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill,” said Colin Sheen, Managing Director, Adcock Ingram Critical Care. 

 “Through the partnership, My Walk was able to recover more than 14,000 kilograms of used non-contaminated and non-hazardous IV bags from participating Netcare hospitals during the course of 2018.  Although this project is still in its infancy, it is gaining a tremendous amount of support, and we are grateful to the Comrades Marathon team for affording us this opportunity to ‘Walk’ together with them on their journey.  Adcock Ingram Critical Care is also the proud sponsor of the Intravenous Fluids that provide life sustaining liquids to athletes,’ concluded Sheen.

Comrades Medical Convenor, Dr Jeremy Boulter said: “This is so well aligned with the CMA’s strategic focus of sustainability and environmental responsibility. We are pleased to be partnering with Adcock Ingram and Netcare to give renewed impetus to recycling initiatives and reduce our carbon footprint one day at a time".

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