Stikeez 2: Fun collectable or hazardous to the environment?

At the end of last month Pick n Pay launched Stikeez 2, which follows on from the popular Stikeez craze from last year, and more recently the Super Animals promotion that the supermarket ran. These days its trendy for supermarkets to run campaigns rewarding customers for their spend. Like Pick n Pay, Spar recently ran its Angry Birds promotion, while Checkers ran its Minis campaign.

“South Africa loved the Stikeez so we had to bring them back. We have tried to add new exciting elements and products, so we hope our customers will love the creatures of the deep as much as they loved our first set of Stikeez,” said John Bradshaw, head of customer and loyalty at Pick n Pay.

The theme for the latest round of Stikeez, is ‘Creatures of the Deep’. There are 24 to collect, with the campaign running until 18 December 2016 or while stocks last.

Collecting the Stikeez

In much the same way as the Stikeez campaign ran last year, Stikeez 2 rewards shoppers with one Stikeez for every R150 spent. The Stikeez come in opaque packaging, so there’s no knowing which character you will receive until you open it, and you cannot swop your Stikeez at the till.

Pick n Pay explained that the campaign is accompanied by a free app available for iPhone and Android phones. It uses geolocation to allow you to catch Stikeez when you are near a Pick n Pay store, or practise catching them at home.

“We know how much our customers enjoyed the Super Animals app, and so we’re trying something different with the Stikeez app. We hope customers enjoy it!” noted Bradshaw.

For those eager to collect the new Stikeez, there is a submarine collectors album* for you to store them in. It is available to purchase at Pick n Pay stores for R50. In addition to the collector’s album, Pick n Pay is also selling plush toys* in the shape of various ‘Creatures of the Deep’ characters. These are available for R99 at Pick n Pay stores.

You may occasionally earn extra Stikeez when purchasing promotional products in store. Keep your eye out in Pick n Pay to see what these items are.

An environmental hazard?

There are claims on social media that Stikeez are pollutants. In an article released by the Two Oceans Aquarium, it said: “Bearing in mind our clear objectives, our conservation efforts and our journey of sustainability on behalf of the ocean, the Aquarium cannot endorse the Stikeez campaign in any way.”

This follows from concerns about the impact that these may have on the environment through plastic waste, once people dispose of these plastic toys. The Two Oceans Aquarium highlighted that according to World Economic Forum (WEF) research the equivalent of one dump truck of plastic pollution currently “leaks” into the ocean every single minute. This means 60 trucks in one hour. “Leakage” is the term used to describe plastic that mistakenly ends up in the sea.

In response to the concern about the environmental impact of Stikeez, Bradshaw said: “Stikeez is a time-limited, fun campaign with a negligible environmental impact. Importantly, Stikeez are fully recyclable.

“The waste impact is negligible partly because the number of Stikeez represents a tiny fraction of the total plastic being sent to landfill in South Africa. In fact, we’d have to run this campaign for 150 years – with every single person who has ever got one not keeping or recycling them – just to make up one percent of the current plastic to landfill each year.”

In addition, Bradshaw noted: “We provide recycling units in all our stores for plastic bags and plastic packaging and will also provide additional units in our stores for anyone not wanting their Stikeez. Stikeez placed in these bins will donated to children who are ill and in hospital over the festive season.”

Despite Pick n Pay’s intention of donating unwanted Stikeez to children over the festive season, it is still possible that some will slip through the cracks and end up at waste sites. The disposal of the Stikeez will be dependent on the recipient, so it is up to you to ensure that you recycle your Stikeez when you no longer have a need or use for them.

*The Stikeez 2 and other related merchandise will be available while stocks last.

**Pick n Pay Clothing, Liquor and Boxer stores are excluded from this promotional campaign.

For more information on Stikeez 2, click here.