Producer responsibility organisation (PRO) for the plastics industry Polyco is launching a municipal-focused recycling strategy, aimed at drastically improving the country’s recycling rates.
To implement this “first of its kind” strategy, Polyco on September 15 said it would work with municipalities to invest in recycling infrastructure, innovations and to implement consumer education and awareness campaigns.
Polyco has partnered with the Buffalo City metropolitan municipality, the Border-Kei Chamber of Business and the Buffalo City Development Agency to implement this recycling strategy in East London.
“Through this consortium, we have funded local recycling businesses within East London to facilitate the collection and recycling of material,” Polyco CEO Patricia Pillay said.
She added that there was a growing demand for recyclate across industry in South Africa and that, by improving collection facilities, recycling infrastructure and by influencing consumer behaviour towards recycling, “we can ensure that we start meeting the demand for recyclate”.
In conjunction with funding support for recycling businesses, a community-focused recycling initiative, the Packa-Ching project, encourages residents to collect their recyclables and take it to a buy-back centre, where they will have their recycling weighed and be paid for it.
This, Polyco said, is an easy-to-use system that makes recycling and its rewards accessible to many.
To support Polyco’s recycling strategy in Buffalo City, two Packa-Ching buy-back sites have been established, along with a widespread public education and awareness campaign.
“Many municipalities face similar pressure with available landfill space quickly diminishing and increased pressure from national government to improve recycling rates,” said Pillay.
“Our municipal-focused recycling strategy focuses on collaboration with municipalities and local businesses to improve local product value chains and to positively influence consumer behaviour towards recycling different materials.
“As an industry PRO, our focus is on repositioning plastic waste as a valuable resource, and we do this by working with stakeholders along product value chains, to see how we can improve the adoption of recycling.”