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PET recycling

More plastic bottles recycled in SA than thrown away

South Africa is doing phenomenally well in comparison to United States, which recycled 30% of their PET plastic bottles for the same time period.

Sustainable employment opportunities for 50,000 people were achieved in this industry and this sector is set for massive projected growth in 2017.

Cheri Scholtz, CEO of PETCO, the national industry body responsible for managing PET plastic recycling in South Africa, says:

“PETCO is delighted that the post-consumer PET bottle-recycling rate has increased, despite two of the biggest falls in oil prices seen in recent years.”

It’s fair to say that South Africa is winning the battle to recycle plastic bottles.

Some more statistics from PETCO:

  •  52% of post consumer PET bottles were recycled, more than went into landfills. This is the first time this happened.
  • PETCO facilitated R3.5bn. of value into the downstream economy.
  • R275m has been invested in support of recycling projects.
  • R1.2bn. has been paid to PET collectors by recyclers.
  • PETCO has been the catalyst for R1bn of investment in infrastructure development.
  • 4.7 million PET bottles are recycled per day in South Africa (according to 2015 statistics).
  • 112,000 tonnes of carbon were saved as a result of PET recycling in 2015.
  • 461,000 metres cubed of landfill were saved as a result of PET recycling in 2015.

 “Recycling PET bottles over the last twelve years has saved a total of 651 000 tons of carbon and avoided using 2.7 million m3 of landfill space,” adds Scholtz.

Also commenting on the news, Dr Casper Durandt, Franchise Technical Director for Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa, said, “The Coca-Cola Company and our bottling partners in South Africa are truly proud of what PETCO has accomplished.

“PETCO is the entity that facilitates brand owners in fulfilling our Extended Producer Responsibility. The unique PETCO model in South Africa is a recognised world best practice in sustainable funding, collection and local recycling of plastic beverage containers in the Coca-Cola System.”

Tom McLaughlin, head of responsible sourcing for Woolworths Foods commented, “With PETCO’s assistance, Woolworths has been able to close the loop and reuse thousands of tons of recycled plastic in its food packaging.

“We are also using more and more recycled PET in our clothing and home textiles.  It’s part of our Good Business Journey to reduce our impact on the planet.”

Source: PETCO

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