Joint venture between Boxmore and PETCO creates jobs, drives recycling


PHOTO: PETCO and Boxmore have identified five beneficiaries for waste recycling trolleys who will sell their PET to Vans Buy Back Centre. Pictured here are James van Vuuren (Vans Scrap Yard) and Neil Bresendale (factory manager of Boxmore Harrismith) flanked by waste pickers, from left, Fana Mofokeng, Thabiso Masengeni, Beneth Olifant, Joseph Msibi and Sipho Sibeko

DURING April, Boxmore Packaging and PETCO, the organization responsible for fulfilling the South African PET plastic industry’s role of Extended Producer Responsibility, partnered to sponsor and handover waste recycling trolleys to five local PET (polyethylene terephthalate) collectors in the Harrismith community.

In collaboration with Vans Buy Back Centre, PETCO and Boxmore have identified five beneficiaries for the trolleys who will sell their PET to Vans Buy Back Centre. This arrangement will allow the waste pickers’ progress to be tracked and their need for assistance to be monitored. Those involved in this initiative are committed to helping these individuals reach their full earning potential, and to stimulate awareness around the importance of recycling.

“Our company is one of the biggest employers in Harrismith and therefore we are, both directly and indirectly, at least partly responsible for the socio-economic wellbeing of the community,” said Boxmore Harrismith factory manager, Neil Bresendale. “Also, as a leading provider of rigid plastic packaging, it’s critical for our business to minimise the environmental impact of post-consumer PET. Driving recycling through job creation in this community is a win–win scenario that I’m proud to be associated with.”

PETCO CEO Cheri Scholtz, said the project was an important one as PETCO believes small and micro-collectors play a crucial role in growing recycling tonnages in South Africa.

“Thanks to their hard work, alongside that of the remarkable network of dedicated people and companies we work with, 2 billion PET bottles were collected for recycling across South Africa during the course of 2016, growing the annual recycling rate from 52% of post-consumer bottle PET in 2015 to 55%,” she added.

Boxmore is a founding member of PETCO, and last year Chief Commercial Officer, David Drew, was appointed to the board of directors.

“Apart from this investment being the right thing to do, our industry cannot ignore the mounting necessity to encourage and educate South Africans about recycling. We are confident that these beneficiaries have all the support to further develop this small business opportunity into something that will both grow in size and income,” said David.

An additional 10 trolleys will be donated across two other communities where Boxmore branches are based.