ABOUT 177 000 tonnes of polyolefin plastics were recycled last year - contributing approximately R1.7 billion to the country’s GDP and creating over 14 000 jobs. However, 363 000 tonnes were not, meaning that South Africa is missing out on potential GDP growth and much-needed employment opportunities.
These figures were revealed at Polyco’s recent fifth AGM by chairman, Jeremy Mackintosh. At the AGM, it was announced that the non-profit company would be rebranding to Polyco+, creating a movement designed to change mindsets and behaviours around recycling.
Mackintosh said that while the polyolefin packaging market grew by 3.3% in 2016, recycling volumes remained at the same level as the previous year. SAPRO confirmed this, with its GM, Annabe Pretorius, stating: “The demand for recyclate is still at an all-time low – which has been the case for more than 14 months. This low demand can be attributed to the general economic slump, which has specifically affected commodity market applications for recyclate.”
Polyco+ has been launched to broaden the company’s capacity in addressing these problems.
“Polyco+ is an engagement platform that collaboratively finds solutions to the national crisis that affects us all. Through it, we will continue to work with municipalities and industry sectors, supporting their operations and taking the necessary action to recover from the challenging economic conditions of the past year,” said Polyco CEO, Mandy Naude.
The platform also aligns with the NPC’s role in implementing the polyolefin Industry Waste Management Plan (IWMP) that will provide polyolefin waste solutions to both metro and rural areas whilst bolstering enterprise development, job creation and transformation opportunities within the sector.