Making very public commitments to give up single-use plastic shopping bags, influencers (including musicians, actors, public servants) reached thousands of people.  For Plastic Free July 2018 one person per day pledged to “refuse to buy or accept single-use plastic shopping bags. I will take my own reusable bags to the shops. Join me, and pledge to #RethinkTheBag”.  Read more about the campaign and take the pledge here. If you haven’t followed the daily roll-out of the campaign on our Instagram stories, here’s a round up of who has pledged. We’ll keep this list updated.

#1  Zolani Mahola

Zolani was the first of our 31 celebrities to pledge. On Sunday 1 July, she wrote on Instagram, “we only have one world, we have the power to change it for the better” and pledged to give up single-use plastic shopping bags. She told the Sunday Times that she was attracted to being an ambassador for this campaign because she “cares deeply about our planet and our environment”. Cape Town-based Mahola who has been the lead singer of South African music group Freshlyground since 2002, is often in the mountains and on the beach. In the Sunday Times report, “Chorus of Green Hope”, she said, “I try to be conscious in everything I do, and when it comes to my footprint on this planet I try to tread as lightly as possible. If I can do anything to spread the message of the dire need to stop using single-use plastic, I am committed.”

Follow Zolani on Instagram @Zolani

#2 Tarina Patel

Taking her pledge on Instagram and spreading the message to her 172 000 followers, the psychologist, model and actor posted nine powerful posts about plastic. One of them was a picture of a starry sky with the caption, “It is crazy to think that there are more pieces of plastic in our oceans than there are stars in the sky. Every beach we walk on contains microplastic, as small as grains of sand. Every day we contribute to this by using more and more single use plastics. It is time to #RethinkTheBag and to only use reusable shopping bags”.

Follow Tarina on Instagram @tarinapatel

#3 Siv Ngesi

On International Plastic Bag Free Day, entertainer Siv was in Jeffreys Bay for the Corona Open J-Bay World Surf League Championship Tour 2018 where he pledged to “refuse to buy or accept single-use plastic shopping bags”.

Follow Siv on Instagram @Iamsivn

#4 Shannon Elizabeth

American actor and animal-rights activist, Shannon posted eight Instagram posts to her 288 000 about the dangers of plastic while offering some tips and advice on what to use instead. In one post she explained what an eco-brick is:  post-consumer plastic bottles stuffed with plastic that can’t be recycled which used for construction. In other posts, she showed the KURO-Bō Activated Charcoal re-usable glass bottles and charcoal filters, and the Stasher bags which will be coming to South Africa in September. These storage bags are made from plastic-free silicone.

Follow Shannon on Instagram @ShannonElizabeth

#5 Rati Lekalakala

This full time UCT student finds the time to promote sustainbability and veganism on her Instagram. For her pledge she posted two stories. In the first one she committed to giving up single-use plastic shopping bags, and in the second one she showed us the re-usable bags she takes shopping. Rati is a great inspiration for anybody and everybody wanting to tread more lightly and to live more consciously.

Follow Rati on Instagram @Rati

#6 Tumi Morake

One of South Africa’s top comedians, Tumi’s career spans over 11 years and has numerous nominations and awards (including Comic of the Year and Favourite Comedian) under her belt. This formidable force in the comedy industry tweeted her pledge with a message about how “8 million metric tons of plastic go into the ocean each year. This equates to 16 shopping bags for every metre of coastline”.

Follow Tumi on Twitter @tumi_morake

#7 Jordy Smith

On his pledge day, the surfer was in Jeffreys Bay for the Corona Open J-Bay World Surf League Championship Tour 2018. He took a few moments between surfs to commit to giving up plastic bags. About 7 500 people liked his comment, and 80 people commented. Oh, and if you haven’t seen this video of Jordy, you must watch it now. Stab magazine says Dan Mace and the people at “Let’s Talk Trash” decided there was no better method to alert the masses about the issues surrounding waste disposal than launching Jordy board first into a floating trash can.

Follow Jordy on Instagram @JordySmith88

#8 Natalie Maimane

The Maimane household has given up plastic shopping bags, and we hope this pledge by the Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane’s family will inspire other politicians and their families to do the same. On Sunday 8 July, Natalie tweeted that “in our home we have decided to #RethinkTheBag”. She also brought attention to the fact that South Africans use 8 billion plastic bags per year.

Follow Natalie on Twitter @Mrs Maimane

#9 Wendy Knowler

Sunday Times consumer journalist, Wendy must have the best re-usable bag we’ve seen during this campaign so far. With her “shopping bags are rubbish” bag image, Wendy pledged to take her re-suable bag to the shops.

Follow Wendy on Twitter @wendyknowler

#10 Frank Solomon

The big wave surf adventurer pledged on Facebook. Did you know the professional is an actor too? Frank who was born and raised in Cape Town, acted in Let’s Be Frank. Watch the trailer.

Follow Frank on Instagram @FrankSolomon

#11 Nik Rabinowitz 

The Cape Town-based comedian, who calls himself Africa’s funniest Jew, means business. His posted this picture with the caption, “By 2050 every single marine bird will have plastic in its body. You wouldn’t like it either”.  He challenged Springbok rugby captain, Siya Kolisi, and gqom musician Babes Wodumo to do the same.

Follow Nik on Instagram @NikRabinowitz

#12 Jacquie Myburgh

Head over to the Instagram account of Wanted’s editor to see the most gorgeous collection of shoppers. Today she challenged two other high-profile people in fashion (Aspasia Karras and Elizabeth Summer) to pledge to give up plastic shopping bags. Jacquie wrote: “I’ve done it. I will no longer buy a single supermarket plastic bag. If I forget my shopping bags, that means packing a trolley of groceries into my car. Worse things can happen. But I have committed to this once and for all – have you? #rethinkthebag Join me @aspasia_karras and @elizabethsummeraccessories In the meantime I’m going to start collecting some cool shopping bags so there really is no excuse. Bravo on a great initiative @twygmag @2oceansaquarium@thebeachco_op” 

Follow Jacquie on Instagram @Jacquie_Myburgh

#13 Siba Mtongana 

This multi-award winning food expert, author, entrepreneur, mother and wife has a global reach and through her Food Network show, Siba’s Table. she reaches audiences across Africa, US, UK, Europe, UAE, Asia and Australia. On her Instagram, she said, “Hey peeps, did u know that South Africa has been listed as the 11th worst contributor of plastic waste into the sea globally? Shocking right!!! Let’s refuse to be a part of the problem and #RethinkTheBag & use of plastic in general. Who’s with me?” She went on to tell her followers two facts about plastic and offered solutions, which included giving up single-use plastic shopping bags.  And with that she said, “Come on my people, let’s do our part. Are you with me?”

Follow Siba on Instagram on @sibamtongana

#14 Grant Twiggy Baker
Twig is a professional surfer who travels the world riding waves. On Saturday he posted on Instagram, “I will try not to use single-use plastic shopping bags. Please join me, and pledge to #RethinkTheBag”. In the accompanying picture he was holding a free reusable shopper from @acesnspadesbar, and encouraged his followers to pick one up “the next time you pull in to wet your throat”.

Follow Twiggy on Instagram @Granttwigbaker

#15 Carol Bouwer

Ahead of her birthday, television producer and UNICEF SA Special Advocate, Carol Bouwer gifted the planet by pledging to give up single-use plastic shopping bags. Thank you! On Instagram she wrote, “We all have every intention to do right by future generations and leave them a world we are proud not to have completely destroyed… Friends, I ask you please to join us in saying goodbye to plastic bags. Let us begin to embrace what will surely be cumbersome at first yet I assure we will get used to doing what feels correct – ultimately. Let us begin to take our own re-usable bags to the market, supermarket etc with us! We are now accustomed to recycling and sorting our trash at home so this will also become second nature! Thank you @jackiemay_sa for inviting me on this journey – I am proud to say NO TO PLASTIC BAGS! A bright, fun yet functional bag is what I encourage you to take grocery shopping while still looking chic! #rethinktheplasticbag”

We wish you a very happy year ahead Carol, and thank you for joining our campaign.

Follow Carol on Instagram @Bouwercarol

#16 Eusebius McKaiser 

Talk show host and writer, Eusebius did a fabulous post on 16 July. The following day, he interviewed The Beach Co-op founder Aaniyah Omardien, who together with Two Oceans, is involved with this pledge. You can listen to the interview here.

Eusebius posted this hilarious picture with a caption: “Do I look good in this reusable shopping bag that’s a great alternative to plastic? Most of us needlessly use single-use plastic bags which we throw away 20 minutes later. This is bad for humans, and for the environment: most of these end up in remote parts of the planet and at the bottom of our oceans harming many species irreparably, quite apart from much of the toxic chemicals added in the manufacture of plastic finding their way back into the human food chains. I refuse to buy or accept single-use plastic shopping bags. I will take my own reusable bags to the shops. Join me and pledge to #RethinkTheBag. I also nominate @azania_ and @djfreshsa to make this pledge.”

Follow Eusebius on Instagram @eusebius_mckaiser

#17 Ard Matthews 

Singer and songwriter, Ard used a series of Instagram stories to talk about plastic and to pledge not to use plastic shopping bags. His dog Jeff is his spokesperson for the pledge. His pledge was cute and funny, meaningful.

Follow Ard on Instagram @ardmatthews

#18 Makoma Lekalakala 

The head of Earthlife Africa said on her Facebook page, that, “Today I want to draw attention to the effect of plastic on the environment. Plastic doesn’t rot. Most of it ends up in our rivers and oceans, destroying our ecological system. For instance, marine animals confuse plastic with their food, eat it and die. This effects food security and the biodiversity of the ocean. That’s is why today I’m pledging to refuse to buy or accept single-use plastic shopping bags. I will take my own reusable bags to the shops. Join me, and pledge to #RethinkTheBag. I would like to challenge @KumiNaidoo @maremadorah to take the pledge too.”

This award-winning environmental activist is a quiet, powerful force for good. Along with Liz McDaid, she was awarded the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize for the African region for their work on using the courts to stop a Russian-South African nuclear deal in 2017. Thank you Makoma for the amazing work you do, and for being a #RethinkTheBagambassador.

Follow Makoma on Facebook.

#19 Phemelo Motene

Actor, businesswoman and 702 talk show host, Phemelo wrote on Instagram, “What keeps me up at night? It’s the future of my children and the world they will inherit. So, what am I doing about it? I know I cannot change the world alone, but I pledge to do my bit. Today I pledge to #RethinkTheBag. I pledge to #RethinkTheBag. I pledge to stop using single-use plastic. Please think about doing the same, the future of our children depend on it.”

Follow Phemelo on Instagram on @phemelomotene

#20 Seth Shezi

Seth, a lifestyle content creator, has pledged to not using single-use plastic bags, and to take his reusable bags to the shops instead. In his Instagram post he drew attention to what’s happening to the oceans by posting a video of plastic pollution. If we don’t commit to giving up plastic, we won’t be able to enjoy the the sea for much longer, he said.

Follow Seth on @seth_shezi

#21 Francois van Coke 

The musician who we know from Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel posted his pledge and encouraged his followers to “Do it!” If you haven’t yet signed the Two Oceans Aquarium pledge do so here.

Follow Francois on Instagram @Francoisvancoke

#22 Roxy Louw 

Surfer, yoga teacher and ocean advocate, Roxy pledged to refuse single-use plastic shopping bags and straws. Roxy campaingns to raise awareness about plastic straws too.

Follow Roxy on Instagram @RoxyLouw

#23 Susana Kennedy

Susana is a producer, presenter and humanitarian. She used her Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to pledge to not use plastic shopping bags again. She showed her followers her net bag for fruit and vegetables and her reusable shopping bags.

Follow Susana on Instagram on @thesusanakennedy

#24 Catherine Constantinides

Catherine is a social entrepreneur and the founder of the Miss Earth, an organization intended to promote peace, respect and humility towards one another. She works in schools and rural communities consulting with the government and private sector.  She made her pledge to #RethinkTheBag because she says, “#WasteStopsWithMe and it is not only about #PlasticFreeJuly but changing our behaviour and ensuring we #SayNoToSingleUsePlastic #RefuseTheStraw #SayNoToBalloons #PlasticFree #ChangeOneThing”.

Follow Catherine on Instagram @chaneagentsa

#25 Jack Parow

Jack’s refusing the straw and rethinking the bag. He klapped a “jager with a bamboo straw my bru” and pledged “to stop using plastic bags and straws. #rethinkthebag #refusethestraw DOENIT!!”

Follow Jack on Instagram @jackparow

#26 Faine Pearl 

Faine, a cold water free diver, works for the Sea Change Project which works at deepening “our connection with nature through science, storytelling and authentic experience”.  With her pledge on Instagram Faine wrote that, “Diving almost every day along Cape Town’s coastline, there is not a moment where I don’t see plastic, whether it’s urchins using pieces of plastic as shelters or plastic bags and wrappers floating through the midwater. I have chosen to refuse using plastic bags, but I have also chosen to collect as much plastic as I can, be it while diving or walking along a beach. During my dives, I attach a meshed bag to my weight belt which allows me to store any plastic that I find.”

Follow Faine on Instagram @fainepearl

#27 Ndumiso Lindi 

Comedian Ndumiso pledged on Twitter to give up plastic bags. He wrote, “Did you know: 1 in 3 marine mammals have been found entangled in marine litter. I pledge from today to try and not plastic bags when shopping. #RethinkTheBag”.

Follow Ndumiso on Instagram @NdumisoLindi

#28 Ella Bella Constantinides

Founder of Generation Earth and director of Miss Earth SA, Ella (Catherine’s sister) tweeted that she was off to the shops and “it’s me and my bag. Nope not a plastic single-use bag but my @missearth_sa that has a long lifespan. Join me and pledge to #RethinkTheBag”.

Follow Ella on Twitter @EllaBellaC

#29 Schalk Bezuidenhout 

Schalk, whose day job is to making people laugh, posted this very powerful image on Instagram, “This is a really great campaign guys [Thank you, Schalk]. Seriously, think about the sea turtles! I refuse to buy or accept single-use plastic shopping bags. I will take my own reusable bags to the shops. Join me, and pledge to #RethinkTheBag”.

Follow Schalk on Instagram @schalkiebez

#30 Kahn Morbee 

Musician (best known as fronting South African Rock/Pop band The Parlotones) Kahn pledged to “refuse to buy or accept single-use plastic shopping bags. I will take my own reusable bags to the shops (like the one in this picture) Join me, and pledge to #rethinkthebag “

 Follow Kahn on Instagram @kahnmorbee

#31 Pippa Hudson 
Our final pledger for this campaign is talk show host, Pippa Hudson of Cape Talk. Pippa gave up plastic bags a long time ago, but on the 31 July she made a public commitment to #RethinkTheBag. Thank you Pippa!
“Sunrise over the pristine Kogelberg. These are my reusable shopping bags which go everywhere with me. I will continue to refuse to buy or accept single-use plastic bags & will take my own with me to the shops. Join me; pledge to 
Follow Pippa on Twitter on @pjchudson
 Main image: Reposted from Instagram