“PETCO is all about Partnerships, Responsibility and Environmental Integrity” says PETCO CEO, Cheri Scholtz. A ground-breaking partnership has been formed with Sappi ReFibre, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, PETCO and other local companies to launch a buy back centre in Cape Town’s oldest township.
The project was launched on Thursday, 15 August at the Gugas’thebe Arts & Cultural Centre, Washington Street, Langa and aims to encourage entrepreneurship and assist the local community with access to sustainable livelihoods.
PETCO aims to minimize the environmental impact of post-consumer PET on the South African landscape and supported through the PET industry, strives to contribute to the sustainable growth of the PET plastic recycling industry, supporting existing and encouraging new PET collection and recycling networks.
Sappi ReFibre (previously known as Sappi Waste Paper) is responsible for the recycling of used paper and paper products. Sappi ReFibre procures board and paper for recycling from an extensive network of agents across the country – sourced directly from homes, offices, wholesalers and retailers, as well as from manufacturers in both the formal and informal sectors. For Sappi, recovered board and paper is a valuable resource where it is used to supplement virgin fibre in the paper making process.
Cleaner, healthier and economically improved
“Sappi is happy to be a part of a job creation project in Langa as the community benefits through income generation from waste collection and recycling. Through landfill diversion the community will also experience a cleaner and healthier environment” said Marc Snyders, Regional Manager Sappi.
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business provides a transformational education through classroom and experiential learning, preparing students to graduate as principled leaders in service to business and society. Three students from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business Executive Master’s in Leadership (EML) program have been working together with PETCO and Sappi ReFibre to transform a resource centre in Langa.
As part of their EML global business experience, students Cherian Thomas, Tim Powers and Ted Fahy will encourage entrepreneurship in the Langa Township. They will be educating local community members on the value of waste. The trio felt it was imperative to partner with key industry role players in order to make this project a success. Having recognized the importance of global market research, the students studied the culture, customs and psychologies of the Langa Township to better understand cross-cultural negotiations and develop a strategic business plan that would suit the goals of the initiative and the values of the community.
The trio’s mission is to improve the local economy. For this reason, they plan to have an experiential learning approach. This will be achieved through partnering with local recycling companies to educate community members on the value of recycled commodities. “The outcome of the project will significantly benefit the people of Langa and has the power to shape cross-cultural partnerships around the world,” said Thomas, who has significant professional experience in paper manufacturing, procurement and waste management.
K & C Waste are supporting the Langa Buy Back centre with the purchasing of recyclables from the centre which is being managed by a local businessman, Temitayo Abiodun Odutayo, known to locals as “Tayo” who takes pride in furthering his people and helping the local community. The once rundown Tsoga Resource Center now represents fully functional Buy-Back center named the “HLAZA Innovation Center”.
PETCO is of the opinion that creative South African solutions are required and opportunities lie in various arenas. There is a need for more visible, accessible infrastructure in the form of drop-off facilities, buy back centres and materials recovery facilities. PETCO is proud to sponsor the project with a bundu bailer, as well as an Extruwood recycling station.
According to PETCO’s Category B Project Manager, Belinda Booker “Balers can be the driving force behind huge savings and increased efficiency in the area of waste processing” Baling the material will offer the project managers a better overview of the quantities of waste handled at their facility, she adds.