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International Recycling Colloquium

November 21, 2013 @ 08:00 - 17:00

PETCO, the PET Recycling Company (Pty) Ltd, has just released an exciting line-up of speakers and topics for its forthcoming colloquium with the European Plastics Recycling Organisation (EPRO) that will be taking place in Cape Town on Thursday, 21 November 2013.

This exciting event not only sees global collaboration, but local partnerships with the National Research Foundation, the packaging industry as well as academia such as the Stellenbosch University, Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Georgetown’s Mc Donough School of Business.

“We are very proud and excited to confirm that we will have arguably 15 of Europe’s top minds and experts on matters relating to waste management and recycling, combined with 15 of South Africa’s brightest and best, addressing various topics relating to creating a sustainable recycling sector in 7 plenary sessions on the day,” announced Cheri Scholtz, CEO of PETCO (pictured).

According to Cheri, the importance of this conference lies in the fact that there is a coming together of minds, to share and debate to find local solutions within a global context. ”Even though we have our own unique challenges, reinventing the wheel is not an option when it comes to developing an effective and sustainable recycling industry,” she said.

EPRO visiting South Africa

“PETCO has been an active member of EPRO for many years, and our PET recycling rates are above the global average,” Cheri explained. We were therefore delighted to be offered the opportunity to host EPRO’s first General Meeting on African soil in Cape Town on the 20th of November, providing us with a platform to showcase our African solutions and jointly share learning to overcome recycling challenges and build stronger ties with our European counterparts”.

She highlighted that the EPRO delegation are keen to learn from the South African experience as well during their visit. “When they accepted and confirmed that a 15 man delegation from across Europe will be attending, we felt we had to make the most of the opportunity of having this expert knowledge on our shores and allowing as many people as possible to benefit from this sharing of ideas,” Cheri explains.ÂÂ

To this end, a colloquium entitled “Global Partnerships for a Sustainable Recycling Sector: Sharing. Dialogue. Action” will take place on Thursday, 21 November 2013 at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and will pair 15 international speakers with 15 local industry leaders around topics such as waste management and recycling economy, trends, legislative tools, technical innovation and more.

Recycling tours show us the process

“We have a lot to be proud of when it comes to our achievements on the recycling front and we saw the opportunity to showcase our recycling infrastructure and innovative projects by hosting technical and sustainability tours to be attended by the EPRO delegation and local delegates,” Cheri added.

Sufficient time has also been worked into the programme for networking opportunities between the delegates, whilst EPRO’s visit to South Africa will conclude on Friday, 22 November 2013 with a half-day technical tour to a local recycling plant, wash plant and production facilities as well as other sustainable built environment projects and cultural tours.

The program

“We are hoping to see representatives of national and provincial government, municipalities and local authorities, waste management companies, collectors, sustainability practitioners, brand owners, retailers and packaging designers, NGO’s, cooperatives, industry associations, academics and their students participate in discussions and share ideas, as well as make use of the opportunity to network and pose their questions during two debates that have been included in the programme,” Cheri says.

Discussions, debates and plenary sessions will be focused around the following topics:

  • Instruments for an enabling environment, aimed at enhancing co-operation with other countries, developing a well-coordinated global framework;
  • Key instruments and actions to boost recovery of packaging waste, looking beyond the targets, unpacking barriers and investigating opportunities to boost recovery;
  • Making recycling a bankable sector, analysing what it takes to make recycling and collection work;
  • The use and recycling of plastics in the agricultural sector;
  • Sustainability and advocacy across borders and the opportunities for global stakeholders; and
  • Technological innovation and advances, pushing the boundaries and encouraging closed loop systems and other future trends.

About the speakers:

The exciting line-up of international speakers who will be addressing audience members include:

  • Janez Potočnik: European Union Commissioner on the Environment

Janez will be giving an EU message of support as part of the opening of the colloquium. He is a graduate from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1993. After a successful career in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, Janez was later appointed as Minister responsible for European Affairs. In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as shadow Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 Dr Potočnik became Commissioner for Environment.

  • Francis Huysman: EPRO co-chairperson/ Val-l-Pac

Francis is an independent consultant who gives operational advice to companies such as Valorlub (mineral oil), Valorfrit (frying oil), Recovinyl (rigid PVC). He has been auditing recyclers of PVC in Belgium and the Netherlands since 2006 and is responsible for the training of the auditors of Recovinyl in various European countries. As a consultant, he has significant experience in cooperation with waste management companies and recyclers and will be speaking on how to simulate the development and demand for recycled content in new products.

  • Erika Mink: Director Environment for the Tetra Pak Group

Erika Mink leads the company’s environment advocacy globally and within the European Union, with particular focus on areas such as packaging sustainability, resources and waste, sustainable production and consumption, and dairy sustainability. She serves as President of The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE), on the board of the European Association for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN) and as expert in the Consumer Goods Forum’s work on sustainability. Prior to joining Tetra Pak, Erika worked for a leading international consulting firm in Germany where she provided advice to global clients in industry and international cooperation governmental agencies in the field of environmental policies and strategies, environment management, capacity building and international knowledge and technology transfer. Erika has worked in Europe, Latin America and Central Asia and will be speaking on making recycling a bankable sector.

  • Jan Bauer: Commercial Manager, RIGK

Head of EPRO`s Agricultural Plastics Group since 2013 and Commercial Manager for RIGK, Jan is responsible for two recovery schemes and the financial controlling of the company. Jan will be speaking on agricultural plastics recycling in Europe, legalities and successful case studies. The presentation will give an overview of the field of agricultural plastics recovery and recycling in Europe and will be answering the question of the viability of systematical recycling of AG-plastics.

  • Géraud Delorme: EPRO Co-Chairman

Géraud was born in France and has worked for more than 30 years in the plastics industry. He spent a few years in South Africa to promote the use of a polyester non-woven sheet in the civil engineering field, before being appointed as VP Environment of ELIPSO, the French plastic packaging trade association. He is currently the General Manager of VALORPLAST, a company involved in the organisation of plastic recycling within the French system of household packaging collection and serves as EPRO Co-Chairman. Geraud will be sitting as a panellist in the “Breaking barriers and looking forward session”, aimed at unearthing the barriers and opportunities to boost recovery and discussing future policy instruments to stimulate the recycling market.

Cherian Thomas: Mc Donough School of Business, Georgetown University

Cherian is an “outside the box” thinker and takes pride in effectively implementing strategies to minimize waste and reduce variable costs. He has a passion for finding new markets for existing products and finding solutions for waste generated through manufacturing. He has more than 10 years’ experience of B2B sales and 7 years of corporate procurement and is considered an expert in paper manufacturing, procurement, sales, logistics, and waste management. Cherian will be speaking on sustainability and the recycling Sector.

  • Tawanda Masuka: Chief Operating Officer, Petrecozim (PVT) LTD, Zimbabwe

Tawanda is the Chief Operating Officer of Petrecozim (PVT) Ltd; a collaborative industry sponsored PET recycling effort in Zimbabwe. He has been involved with this project from the onset in 2012. He has huge passion for recycling and has vast experience in recycling Industry in Zimbabwe. Before joining Petrecozim, Tawanda was with a waste paper collection company, National Waste Collections for 6 years where he was responsible for overall collections volumes and the recovery of archives and confidential records for recycling. He attends a number of recycling forums and workshops in Zimbabwe where he occasionally speaks on recycling. He is currently leading the process of setting up a PET washing / flaking plant in Zimbabwe which is expected to be operational by December 2013. He will be speaking on sustainability and advocacy across borders, engaging all stakeholders within the value chain session focussing on partnerships in waste management and job creation and lessons, challenges and initiatives from Zimbabwe.

  • Stuart Foster: Chief Executive, RECOUP

Stuart is Chief Executive at RECOUP, an independent membership based organisation developing and informing sustainable plastics recycling opportunities in the UK. He is also a director of EPRO, the European Association of Plastic Recycling and Recovery Organisations. Since 2000, Stuart has worked on a range of technical, research and demonstration projects to improve and develop UK plastics recycling activity, with a particular focus on sustainable plastic design, collection systems and sorting technologies. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management and has a degree in Environmental Sciences. He will be speaking on future trends in packaging.

  • Peter Sundt: Secretary General, EPRO

Peter Sundt has been Secretary General of EPRO since 2005 and a board member in EPRO since its beginning in 1997. A partner and senior adviser in Mepex Consult AS, a Norwegian consultancy working within waste management both in Norway and abroad. Peter also held the position as Managing Director for Plastretur, the Norwegian plastic packaging recycling scheme. During his talk, entitled “What`s up to the North”, Peter will give audience members an overview of the development in Europe within the field of plastic packaging recycling and recovery. Key national differences and models will be highlighted. Opportunities and challenges will also be assessed as well before focusing on the EU Green paper on plastic waste and possible future legislation.

  • Eirik Oland: Head of External Affairs Green Dot Norway, Head of EPRO Communication Group

Eirik has 15 years of communication experience within the field of producer responsibility and recycling of plastic packaging. He is also engaged in anti-littering work, optimisation of packaging, waste research, minimizing food waste and content development for publications. Educated as a historian with focus on technological history, Eirik will be speaking on sustainability and advocacy across borders with a specific focus on functional, credible communication in engaging stakeholders across the value chain.

  • Tristan Brunin: Valorplast

Tristan Graduated as a Material Engineer at the University of Science of Montpellier in 1998 and went on to work as a Material Engineer at Epic Technologies in Portland, Oregon a snowboard manufacturer. Since 2003 he has been working as an Engineer in the field of plastic recycling at Valorplast. As a specialist in plastics and spokesperson for the EPRO Thematic Working Group on Mixed Plastics, Tristan will be speaking on sorting technology and infrastructure as keys for further success.

South African experts who will be presenting their views and a local perspective include Andrew Marthinusen, former Executive Director PACSA and former Chairman of RAG, Bertie Lourens, CEO of WastePlan, Dr Gerhard Verdoorn, Chemistry Professor and a leading expert on raptors, Chandru Whadwani, CEO of Extrupet, John Kieser, Environmental Manager, Coastal Provinces, Plastics SA as well as:

  • Cheri Scholtz: CEO, PETCO

Currently the CEO of PETCO, Cheri has been involved with the organisation since inception in 2004, and has seen it grow from a small industry-based initiative to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and extended producer responsibility, to a leading example in its field globally. Cheri has represented the PET sector on the RAG (Recovery Action Group) Committee, was a key role-player in the preparation of the Paper and Packaging Industry Waste Management Plan together with colleagues from all the packaging streams including glass, paper, cans, cartons and other polymers, and has been involved in driving many other key initiatives in the Plastics sector. She currently serves on the Plastics|SA EXCO and represented PETCO and PET recycling efforts globally at GARSD (Global Alliance for recycling and sustainable development) in Bangkok and Sao Paulo; and at the EPRO (European Plastics Recovery and Recycling organisation).

  • Linda Godfrey: CSIR

Linda Dr Linda Godfrey is a Principal Scientist within the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) operating unit Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE), based in Pretoria, South Africa. Her research interests include the role of waste information as policy and behaviour-change instrument; the role of the waste sector in transitioning South Africa to a green economy; the governance, social and behavioural aspects of integrated waste management; and waste economics. Dr Godfrey has provided strategic input into a number of waste and green economy initiatives for the European Union, Departments of Science and Technology and Environmental Affairs; Development Bank of South Africa; Academy of Sciences of South Africa; Institute of Waste Management and several local universities. She is currently working together with the Department of Science and Technology to establish a strategic 10-year waste R&D and innovation roadmap for the country. Linda will be speaking on making recycling a bankable sector.

  • Prof Mark Swilling: The Sustainability Institute (University of Stellenbosch)

Professor Mark Swilling is Programme Coordinator of the Sustainable Development Planning and Management in the School of Public Leadership, University of Stellenbosch and Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Warwick and specialises in sustainable economic development, ecological design and cities. Mark Swilling has 25 years of experience in policy analysis and has coordinated large, trans-disciplinary research projects in South Africa. Mark will be exploring the sustainability of the recycling sector and the opportunities for global stakeholders.

local industry’s support & participation

The conference enjoys the support of the South Africa’s Recovery Action Group (RAG) members, whose members include Collect-a-Can, The Glass Recycling Company, Hulamin Limited, Packaging Council of South Africa, Paper Recycling Association of South Africa, PETCO, Plastics|SA, Polyco, the SA Plastics Recycling Organisation and the Polystyrene Council.

In order for the European contingent to learn more about initiatives taking place in South Africa, various exhibitions will be on display by local companies who are involved in recycling, waste management and plastic packaging.

Concluded Cheri: “It is unlikely that we will ever again have so many international experts on our shores at the same time, willing to guide and advise us on global markets, trends and legislation that could have an influence on the future of recycling and waste management here at the southern tip of Africa, where we have our own unique set of challenges. We are hoping that this colloquium will create an important platform for the exchange of ideas, innovation and learning”.

Registration & tickets:

  • Full delegate fee is R1 750 (excluding VAT) per delegate and includes coffee and tea breaks, lunch and a post-event cocktail function.
  • Space is limited and tickets will be allocated on a first come, first paid basis.
  • Please note that no payment will be accepted at the door or on the day.
  • Special arrangements for students to attend need to be made with the organisers ahead of time.
  • Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are still available.


November 21, 2013
08:00 - 17:00
Event Category:
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