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ESG South Africa

Consumers can play a role in sustainable environmental practices

Landfill sites reaching capacity and littering tarnishing South Africa's landscape are undeniable challenges. However, by collaborating intelligently — bringing together packaging manufacturers, brand owners, and consumers — we can enact substantial change.

Recycling has multifaceted benefits for society. At Mpact, we initiate this process by designing and manufacturing that is recyclable and where possible, contains recycled materials, offering the same appeal and quality as 100% virgin alternatives.

The Mpact Plastics Design and Innovation Centre develops design solutions that is accepted by local recycling processes. However, if plastic packaging ends up in landfills, the availability of recyclable material diminishes.

Subsequently, we educate brand owners and consumers on the advantages of sustainable packaging, which include resource conservation and reduced environmental impact. Eventually, packaging waste transforms into an economic opportunity in the recycling value chain.

When consumers understand how to properly dispose of plastic packaging, by separating at source, it can significantly boost recycling efforts and reduces landfilling and transport costs. By separating recyclables into a separate receptacle (e.g. two bag systems or drop-off centres), the recyclable materials remain free from unnecessary contamination which increases the quality and value of the packaging in the recycling value-chain.

Consumers can play a role in sustainable environmental practices

To successfully separate-at-source, on-pack recycling labels on packaging indicate whether the packaging is recyclable or not and whether the packaging has been made from recycled material. Material identification codes are primarily for use by waste collectors and recyclers for sorting purposes. The number corresponds to the type of material used in the product or packaging.

While consumers often see this symbol, they frequently mistake it for indicating the package is recyclable, which is not always the case. Mpact works closely with brand owners to ensure correct recyclability logos and polymer identification codes are used on the packaging.

Whilst brand owners should ensure their on-pack recycling logo is correct, consumers play a pivotal role in closing the loop by responsibly disposing of packaging by separating recyclables from non-recyclables.

With increased consumer support for recycling, more informal and formal waste collectors and recyclers stand to benefit from selling back quality recyclables to manufacturers that incorporates recycled content into their products. This creates a steady supply of packaging materials and drives down packaging costs.

Consumers should look out for the r- symbol which indicates that the packaging is manufactured from recycled materials.

Consumers can play a role in sustainable environmental practices
Consumers can play a role in sustainable environmental practices
Mpact
Mpact is the largest paper and plastics packaging and recycling business in Southern Africa. Our integrated business model is uniquely focused on closing the loop in plastic and paper packaging through recycling and beneficiation of recyclables.
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