Industry organisation the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (Sapro) and manufacturer of recycled plastic compounds MyPlas have become the latest signatories of Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) – an international stewardship programme designed to keep plastic pellets, flakes and powders out of the marine environment.
Sapro represents 42 of South Africa’s plastic recyclers, including MyPlas, which is one of the largest post-consumer recyclers of polypropylene in South Africa and the only high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene (PP) recycler in South Africa to achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification.
Signing the OCS pledge were Sapro GM Phil Sereme and Sapro chairperson and MyPlas joint MD Johann Conradie.
“Recyclers form a vital part of the plastics circular economy and ensuring their buy-in is crucial to the success of this global initiative. We therefore applaud Sapro and MyPlas for taking this bold step,” comments Plastics SA sustainability director Douw Steyn – the licensee and project coordinator for OCS in South Africa's plastics industry.
According to Steyn, most of the plastics associations in South Africa have now signed the OCS pledge and thereby joined the ranks of 77 other plastic associations around the world who are part of the Global Plastics Alliance.
“It is hugely encouraging that South Africa has such a strong representation of companies and associations who have made a public commitment to support OCS and its various projects that aim to ensure that no plastics pellets, flakes or powder are spilled during transportation or at the manufacturing plants.
“Spilled pellets, flakes and powders enter the environment from the manufacturing facility and eventually make their way into local waterways and, ultimately, estuaries and the ocean where they can be mistaken for food by birds or marine animals,” Steyn explains.
Sereme stresses that the organisation is keen to align itself with any entity that initiates and promotes the cleaning up of the environment and that it will be encouraging the rest of their members to also sign the OCS pledge in their personal capacity.