The plastic recycling industry is developing at a steady pace, as consumers and businesses become more aware of the need to conserve the natural resources and energy involved in the manufacture of packaging and other products.
Pressure from a more conscious world has the plastic industry searching for greener solutions and one of the leaders in this initiative is a company now synonymous with caring for the earth.
PETCO takes responsibility for what happens to PET plastic once it’s used. Cheri Scholtz calls them “an extended producer responsibility industry body committed to using all their funds to create responsible outcomes.”
“The year 2012 is proving to be a watershed in PETCO’s development,” she said. PETCO is currently assisting with the establishment of more collection and drop off centres. They are also increasing awareness of PET recycling through their Category B Projects. Some exclusive and exciting activities have been designed exclusively for some of their members.
bailing machine for Theewaterskloof
TWK Recycling & Waste Management received a bailing machine from PETCO in an attempt to increase the PET collection volumes at the TWK Municipality region, which covers Grabouw, Villiersdorp, Genadendal, Greyton, Botrivier and Riviersonderend. “We are convinced that we will be able to bring in 18 – 30 tons of PET per month now that we have a suitable bailer,” said TWK Project Manager, Jo Kearney.
PETCO also sponsored the Recycling Box with 10 state of the art sewing machinery. Lisa Kuhle from Recycling Box has always been passionate about education, training and employment opportunities in SA. The new sewing machines are currently being used in Germiston to produce a new hotel range; some of the products will include geyser bags, newspaper holders and linen covering. “We look forward to seeing Lisa’s expanded range of rPET products,” said PETCO Category B Manager, Belinda Booker.
public and consumer-based education is key
PETCO is very proud to support projects with a strong focus on public and consumer-based education and awareness programmes which contribute to the visible recycling of PET.
PETCO is also creating quite a stir in the industry with their vibrant and creative member workshops, which cover a range of recycling related topics. The last workshops used the Pecha Kucha technique, where each presenter was allowed only 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide. The total time for each presentation was 6 minutes, 66 seconds. Eleven presenters from various industries provided their individual take and inspired, stimulated and challenged the audience to inject fresh insight and energy into the recycling discussion. Though the presenters were challenged to prepare presentations according to this format, some members felt they were the best workshop ever.
After the presentations, a lively panel discussion ensued. It was apparent that the recycling industry is not aware of some of the initiatives that are taking place, such as IWMP and its implications. “We need to work harder to get the message out there!” adds Cheri.
Another fascinating meeting was held in Port Elizabeth, which is leading to the setting up of a recycling forum. This would unlock potential for further projects in the Eastern Cape and provide a platform for engagement and maximising efficiencies.
PETCO has a good following in the Eastern Cape and believe that these businesses and NGOs should be supported by way of at least two workshops each year.