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    POLYCO prepares for challenges in recycling industry

    The biggest impact POLYCO made on the South African recycling industry since its inception two years ago, has undoubtedly been investing R17m in the recycling value chain, which will unlock new volumes of 48,000 tons over the next three years, as well as creating 558 formal and 3,750 informal jobs.
    POLYCO prepares for challenges in recycling industry
    © nickylarson974 – za.fotolia.com
    Speaking at POLYCO's annual general meeting, CEO Mandy Naudé said in 2014 the organisation has invested R11m into various polyolefin recycling and collection businesses based on applications they received from recyclers and collectors from around the country. "Whilst all of them shared our passion and the zeal to see the recycling of polyolefin packaging in South Africa take off, we selected robust projects that best met our support criteria, one of which is the most cost-effective rand per ton investment to deliver the required sustainable growth.

    "As a direct result of the 2014 projects, we were able to divert 32,000 tons of plastics from our country's landfill and into recycling volumes over the next three years. A five year plan project tool has been introduced to track our project implementation progress against the IWMP recycling target of 238,000 tons in 2020, which is our mandate from the polyolefin packaging industry."

    Changes in legislation


    Looking ahead and sharing POLYCO's plans for the future, Naudé highlighted the anticipated changes in waste management legislation, namely the proposed introduction of a waste bureau and pricing strategy for waste management charges, as one of the biggest challenges it is preparing for.

    "The exact format of the new body and the full impact it will have is yet unclear, but POLYCO has formally responded to the Gazette notification and made our position very clear. We are united with Packaging SA (previously PACSA) in calling on government to continue with an industry managed recycling levy on the packaging converters for all local and imported polymer purchases, but making this compulsory and no longer voluntary, which eliminates the issue of free riders in the packaging industry. This levy will be managed by the material responsibility organisations (MROs) like POLYCO, PETCO, PSPC, Collect-a-Can and PRASA, who have established successful track records and achieved a recycling rate of 51% for paper and packaging, this highest of all waste streams," she said.

    POLYCO will also be making a concerted effort to get South Africa's brand owners and retailers on board. "Brand owners and retailers exercise immense influence on the packaging industry and have a significant role to play in waste management and recycling. We are urging them to get on board and share our vision of 100% converter support of the MRO's, by insisting that their packaging suppliers are paying the current voluntary sustainability levy. Ultimately these MRO's are ensuring that the packaging that is put onto the shelves, is being responsibly managed and recycled where possible," Naudé concluded.
    Read more: Petco, Mandy Naudé

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