Saturday, 23 July 2011

R 60 mil injection doubles recycling tonnage

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The PET plastic industry in South Africa has injected R60 million into recycling in South Africa, effectively doubling recycling tonnage in the past four years, a feat made possible through effective industry cooperation.
Considering this success a positive step towards SA’s PET recycling goals, PETCO, the PET recycling company was instrumental in initiating these achievements.

Though the company has seen great successes over the past four years, 2008 was not an easy year for growth. If the global economic recession, fluctuating oil prices and failing banks were not enough, add to it domestic power failures and carbon dioxide supply shortages, all challenges that result in a PET recycling industry fighting to reach targets. Yet, in spite of these many challenges, growth in the recycling of Polyethylene Terephthalate – the plastic that is used for consumer goods packaging, and in particular, beverages - has continued its upward climb.

“PET plastic can be likened to a valuable mineral, like diamonds, because it is a resource that offers great value to its industry, as well as to the economy as a whole,” says Cheri Scholtz, PETCO’s Chief Executive Officer. Not only does the plastic offer versatile packaging, its production has a low carbon footprint, making it an energy efficient and less impactful packaging material.

“Targeted Collection, Evaluation of our Activities and Environmental Awareness were the PETCO themes for fiscal 2008,” says Scholtz, reflecting on the successes of the company’s past year. “This year will certainly prove to be a watershed in our development, as we grew closer to 40 members, collected some 23 000 tons of post consumer PET, assist with the establishment of more collection and drop off centres and steadily built awareness through consistent and focused messaging.”

Over 2008, 22 737 tons of post consumer PET bottles – or a total of 757 million bottles - were collected and recycled in South Africa. This was 4 000 tons up from 2007 and represents 28% of beverage PET in SA for 2008. PETCO not only grew the collection volume, but spread its PET collection net and added Cape Town as a collection base. An estimated 12,000 to 14,000 employment opportunities were generated in the process.

PETCO has established itself as a benchmark of extended producer responsibility in South Africa. Participation is voluntary and the industry has shown strong interest in recycling. “The industry is pulling together and we’re at the forefront to see that this participation results in successful recycling. Our organisation incorporates all the members of the PET value chain, including raw material members, making us unique,” Scholtz closes.

Released By: Lynn Du Plessis
Public Relations - PETCO
021 788 9954 / 082 749 6132
For: PET Recycling Company (Pty) Ltd
Spokesperson: Cheri Scholtz
021 788 9954 / 083 651 4313

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Published in Energy and Environment