The company collected over 700,000 tonnes of recyclables in 2022, a significant increase of just over 100,000 tonnes compared to the previous year. These figures demonstrate Mpact Recycling's commitment to sustainability and the circular economy.
Of the total 700,000 tonnes collected, just under 600,000 tonnes were grades of paper and cardboard. Mpact Recycling's efforts have contributed to preserving natural resources and reducing carbon emissions in the country by keeping valuable recyclables out of landfill.
"This achievement is a testament to our team's dedication to sustainability, our commitment to supporting South Africa's recycling industry and always driving towards a truly circular economy," states John Hunt, managing director of Mpact Recycling.
Our success in increasing our tonnage showcases the vast strides we have made as a nation in changing our behaviour, and moving towards a more responsible approach to recycling waste.
The company's efforts have contributed significantly to reducing waste and preserving natural resources. Not only is this positive for the environment and the wider communities it supports, but also beneficial to the economy, creating a significant number of jobs and income opportunities.
The theme for the UN’s World Environment Day, marked on 5 June this year, is a reminder that people's actions on plastic pollution matters. The steps governments and businesses are taking to tackle plastic pollution are the consequence of this action. It is time to accelerate this action and transition to a circular economy.
Said Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), “UNEP will work with any willing government and business across the value chain … to mobilise private finance and remove barriers to investments … and in a new circular economy.”
As one of South Africa’s leading businesses driving towards a circular economy, Hunt echoes this: ”As a Group we’re thinking outside the box to find sustainable solutions in order to recycle effectively and move away from the traditional linear approach to disposing of waste.”
Mpact Recycling’s operations, which involve collecting, sorting, and baling recyclables, both support and enable the Mpact Group’s other divisions to design innovative products made out of these materials. They consider the entire lifecycle.
Recycling is a major industry in South Africa that provides jobs and drives the circular economy. The absence of commercial waste-to-energy facilities in South Africa coupled with the fact that only 62.9% of households in South Africa have access to formal waste management create challenges.
However, in spite of these hurdles, our country currently demonstrates impressive annual recycling rates that are comparable to the rest of the world. Plastics SA published data analysis in November 2022 that showed South Africa's plastic recycling industry is achieving robust results. For instance, South Africa notably recycles 42.8% of plastics collected, compared to Australia's rate of 12.4% and the European Union’s rate of 34.6%.
When it comes to paper, our nation recycles 61.4% (according to Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa), a figure not too far off from Europe’s paper recycling rate of 72%, which is the highest in the world. This success is not just limited to paper and plastics, our country also boasts consistently high rates of metal and glass recycling. Our country’s reliance on informal collectors and manual sorting methods has not hindered SA from becoming one of the most effective recycling industries worldwide.
Mpact Recycling is proud to celebrate World Environment Day on the 5th June and encourages everyone to join the recycling movement and contribute to a more sustainable future for our planet.
For more information on Mpact Recycling's achievements and sustainability efforts, please visit our website.