As Clean-Up and Recycle SA Week kicks off on 14 September, Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco) celebrates achievements in the polyolefin plastic recycling sector and encourages South Africans to join the Million Plus Plastic Recycling Revolution campaign by committing to recycle their used plastic packaging. This is in the lead up to National Recycling Day on Friday, 18 September and World Clean-up Day on Saturday, 19 September.
Established in 2011, Polyco is a non-profit organisation which represents the largest plastic polymer group in South Africa. Polyco is voluntarily funded by their member organisations and their work over the years has seen over R58 million made available for project funding and has created over 7500 jobs. The collection projects they have invested in have collected over 63 000 tonnes of polyolefin plastic and the recycling projects that they have invested in have recycled over 23 000 tonnes of polyolefin plastic. Polyco has also expanded their Packa-Ching business, and launched the Million Plus Plastic Recycling Revolution campaign to South African consumers.
Polyco’s mobile separation-at-source collection business, Packa-Ching, has recently reached the milestone of having paid out a total of over R1 million to it’s users across South Africa and collected over 1400 tonnes of recyclable packaging material. Packa-Ching collects used recyclable packaging material from the public in low income and informal areas, areas that are often overlooked with regard to recycling education, recycling infrastructure and recycling services, and pays them for it. Each kilogram of recyclable material brought to a Packa-Ching unit is weighed and paid for via a cashless payment system. Only a standard cellphone is needed to use the service and receive these funds, making it accessible to everyone. “South Africa has unique social, economic and environmental conditions; and Packa-Ching has been created to benefit all three spheres. It offers people an additional income source, helps to change behaviour towards used packaging and also helps to keep South Africa clean,” says Mandy Naudé, Polyco’s CEO.
To further engage with South African consumers, Polyco launched the Million Plus Plastic Recycling Revolution. “Our mission is to grow the collection and recycling of polyolefin plastic packaging in South Africa and to promote the responsible use and re-use of plastic packaging. The Million Plus was created to encourage South Africans to commit to recycling and it draws on the power of networks. If each new recycling revolutionary that signs up recruits and educates one more person as their ‘plus one’, the commitment to recycling in South Africa will spread from a small minority of people to mass action.” explains Nicola Rowe, Polyco’s Brand Manager. Since its launch in October 2019 over 26000 people follow the social media accounts of the Million+, but more people are needed to spur real change in recycling behaviour in South Africa.
To celebrate Clean-Up and Recycle week, Polyco will be profiling people and companies who are doing great work to clean up South Africa on their Million+ Facebook page. “If you know of people who are doing great work to clean up South Africa please send an email to email@example.com and we will select a few of these stories to profile on our Million+ Facebook page as inspiration for other South Africans to take the pledge and commit to recycling,” says Rowe.