Retailer gets switched on to protecting environment
Release Date: 2007/11/13
November 07, 2007 Edition 2
A major retailer announced yesterday that it had crushed more than 56 000 of the conventional light bulbs it stocked and was only selling energy-efficient bulbs.
While this came at some cost to Clicks, it would help conserve energy and protect the environment, the company's merchandise executive, Craig Ludwig, said here.
Minerals and Energy Department director of energy efficiency Dr Elsa du Toit said the initiative would allow the domestic and commercial sector to contribute towards the government's goal of a 12% reduction in energy demand by 2015.
The general operations manager for the National Energy Efficiency Agency, Barry Bredenkamp, hoped other retailers would follow suit. "Otherwise we will approach them individually."
As sales volumes of the new bulbs increased, prices would drop. Once the price difference between the new and old bulbs was between R1 and R2, the old-style bulbs could be phased out completely, said Bredenkamp
An incandescent bulb costs about R3 as opposed to R15 for an energy-saving one.
Mario Biagi, sales director for Clicks supplier Amplux, said once a factory now being built in Lesotho to manufacture the new light bulbs locally was up and running, the cost could drop by about 15%.
All energy-saving bulbs were currently imported.
The new lightbulbs contained mercury, raising pollution concerns.
Ludwig said Clicks hoped to have recycling bins available "this side of the new year", so that customers could return old energy-saving bulbs.
Clicks stocked Phillips bulbs, which contained about 0.05mg of mercury. These were permissible for use in the European Union. - Sapa