The South African Plastics Recycling Organisation, in conjunction with Plastics SA, has released the annual South African Plastics Recycling Survey. It aims to indicate the state of the country’s plastics recycling industry for 2019. Photo supplied.
The South African Plastics Recycling Organisation, in conjunction with Plastics SA, has released the annual South African Plastics Recycling Survey. It aims to indicate the state of the country’s plastics recycling industry for 2019. Photo supplied.

Plastics-recycling industry has injected R 2 065 billion into economy

By Dieketseng Maleke Time of article published Mar 16, 2021

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The South African Plastics Recycling Organisation, in conjunction with Plastics SA, has released the annual South African Plastics Recycling Survey. It aims to indicate the state of the country’s plastics recycling industry for 2019.

The plastics-recycling industry injected R 2 065 billion into the informal sector in 2019, creating 58 750 income opportunities, states a report released yesterday.

The data was received from plastics re-processors and packaging industry associations like Plastics SA, Petco, and other stakeholders.

Sapro chairperson Johann Conradie said plastic waste remains a global problem.

“The survey provides important insight into the growth and development of the plastics recycling industry and highlights plastic recycling activity in our economy. It also allows us to promote the value of more sustainable business practices and consumer choices,” he said.

“While there is no single solution to end the war against plastic waste and pollution, recycling is one of the most important actions available to reduce petrochemical usage, CO2 emissions, and the quantity of waste to be disposed of.”

According to the report, while 503 600 tonnes of plastic waste was collected for recycling across the country, more than half consisted of packaging.

The report also revealed that in 2019, 352 500 tonnes of plastics were converted back into raw materials to make other products.

According to the report, while the statistics represent progress, South Africa produced almost 1.8 million tonnes of plastic products in the same period.

Most recyclables are collected from landfills, which is not the case in other countries.

There were 288 recycling operations in the country, 52% in Gauteng. They recycled 60% of the tonnages during the year.

“The number of larger recyclers (according to tonnes per recycler) were higher in the Western Cape than in other provinces – 11% of the total number of recyclers were based in the Western Cape, recycling 14% of the total tonnages.”

Plastics SA executive director Anton Hanekom said collaboration was needed to fight plastic pollution.

“No single organisation can solve the plastic pollution challenge by itself. An inclusive, collaborative process with multiple stakeholders across the plastics value chain is needed,” he said.

Last year, packaging manufacturer Tuffy joined forces with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF South Africa) to create greater awareness around the waste-to-landfill impact on the environment through on-product messaging, in-store communication, and other relevant activities.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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