Not-for-profit industry body the Polyolefin Recycling Company (Polyco) aims to invest R10-million in support projects this year to address current areas of constraint in the recycling industry.
Five categories of support projects have been identified, for which funding will be made available, says Polyco CEO Mandy Naudé.
“Polyco’s goal is simple. We aim to create an organised and committed network of packaging converters, united in their commitment to extend producer responsibility by way of a voluntary industry recycling levy, and our business model uses these funds to support projects that will enable the industry to achieve its recycling target of 35%, or 228 000 t, by 2019,” she says.
Polyco Funding Model
Under the identified categories, strategic growth and development projects aim to increase the economically viable collection and recycling of postconsumer polyolefins, explains Naudé.
These projects focus on increasing the use of existing collection and recycling infrastructure and helping to facilitate the establishment of collection and recycling infrastructure where it does not exist, she adds.
Secondly, supply chain efficiency projects support new or existing initiatives that con-tribute to the growth of sustainable, ongoing collection and sorting of polyolefin plastics. These projects focus on creating a more efficient supply chain in the collection and recycling industry to improve the growth in tonnes of separated, collected, sorted and recycled waste material, notes Naudé.
She highlights that the third category, waste beneficiation projects, supports technology development projects aimed at the extraction of value from the polyolefin plastic packaging and other waste material currently going to landfills, which includes the incineration and pyrolysis processes.
The end-use development and research and development projects category will focus on promoting the use of polyolefin recyclate in a range of consumer product applications to replace virgin or other materials.
It is vital for Polyco to help develop end-markets for recycled polyolefins, which will stimulate the demand and help us to facilitate the pull-through of the material from collection to recycling to the market, adds Naudé.
Products made from recycled polyolefins range from garden furniture, gardening equipment, paving blocks, children’s chairs and tables to refuse bags, crates and shampoo and cleaning-material bottles.
The visible consumer projects category supports initiatives that do not necessarily involve significant volumes, but those that contribute to the visible recycling of polyolefins in the community environment.
Many of these projects are undertaken in cooperation with other partners and are community-based projects, including separ- ation-at-source and education and training programmes, as well as information, com-munication, litter clean-ups and awareness campaigns. These projects are included in the supply chain efficiency category in the funding model, notes Naudé.