Excitement is mounting in the local waste management and recycling industries ahead of the colloquium that will take place in partnership with the European Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisation (EPRO) on the 21st of November, 2013.
A 15 man delegation, representing various streams of the European recycling industry, will be visiting South Africa for EPRO’s first-ever Annual General Meeting to take place on African soil on the 20th of November, followed by a full-day conference on the 21st of November entitled “Global Partnerships for a Sustainable Recycling Sector: Sharing. Dialogue. Action”. In order to afford visiting delegates an opportunity to see various recycling initiatives in and around Cape Town, a recycling tour will take place on the 22nd of November.
“EPRO does not only represent the international plastics industry, but jointly have a wealth of knowledge to share with role players and decision makers across all packaging streams”, explains Cheri Scholtz, CEO of PETCO and local host of the conference. “EPRO delegates are also eager to learn from the experiences in Southern Africa, the BRICS and other developing countries as well as the US who are represented on the program,” she added.
Partnering with Europe
According to Scholtz, the local South African recycling industry has welcomed the opportunity learn and build networks with their European counterparts. “We are delighted and enthralled with the spirit of cooperation and support we have seen from businesses, industry associations, tertiary institutions, governmental departments and individuals who have partnered with us to make this event a reality and reach more stakeholders,” she says.
Sponsors who have come on-board include the National Research Foundation, City of Cape Town, POLYCO and MPact Recycling as Gold Sponsors; Plastics SA as Silver Sponsors; the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO), the Polystyrene Council, the Packaging Council of SA (PACSA), SA National Bottled Water Association (SANBWA) as Bronze Sponsors and a host of other sponsors including Hulamin Operations (Pty) Ltd, Collect-a-Can, Extrupet, Durr Bottling and Postwink Recycling Solution.
“South Africa has a well-developed and diverse recycling industry that is eager to learn how to become more profitable, sustainable and cutting-edge”, Scholtz says. “Judging by the participation we are seeing from both big and small businesses alike, as well as the number of tickets already sold, it is clear that the timing of this colloquium is spot on and that the topics that will be addressed resonate with what the industry is facing and wants grapple with”.
The European speakers who will be presenting papers in 7 plenary sessions include, Janez Potočnik, European Union Commissioner on the Environment who will be delivering a video address, Peter Sundt (pictured above): Secretary General, EPRO; Francis Huysman: EPRO Co-Chairperson/Val-l-Pac; Géraud Delorme: EPRO Co-Chairman; Jan Bauer: Commercial Manager, RIGK; Stuart Foster: Chief Executive, RECOUP; Eirik Oland: Head of External Affairs Green Dot Norway and Head of the EPRO Communication Group, Tristan Brunin: Valorplast and Stefano Petriglieri: Energy Recovery Department, COREPLA. The program also has a speaker from the US 18. Cherian Thomas: Corporate Procurement & Sales for Maryland Paper Company and Mc Donough School of Business, Georgetown University as well as Erika Mink: Director Environment for the Tetra Pak Group who will be speaking on behalf of the BRICS countries.
Plastic issues are global
“As plastic issues are getting more and more global, it is about time for us to look beyond Europe” says Peter Sundt, Secretary General of EPRO.” From the European side we are all looking forward to this colloquium and meeting organizations and people from Africa. Now, it is up to all of us to share knowledge and learn from each other” he added.
They will be matched with South African experts who will give a local perspective on the topics at hand, including Jim Petrie: Director, Energy and Green Economy in the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Western Cape Government; Rustim Keraan: Director, Solid Waste Management, City of Cape Town; Dr Suzan Oelofse: President of the Institute of Waste Management Southern Africa; Charles Muller: Executive Director Packaging Council of South Africa and Chairman of Recovery Action Group; Bertie Lourens: CEO of WastePlan; Dr Linda Godfrey: Principal Scientist, Waste for Development, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research / SA Representative of EU Global Partnership on Waste Management; Dr Gerhard Verdoorn: Director, Griffon Poison Information Centre & Association of Veterinary & Crop Associations of South Africa; Chandru Whadwani: Joint CEO of Extrupet; John Kieser: Environmental Manager, Coastal Provinces and Gracia Munganga: GreenCape Waste Economy Sector Manager.
“We are very excited about being able to partner with PETCO in the hosting of an international conference on this level and believe that the input we receive and networks we build across will have a positive impacts on the local recycling industry in the years to come,” says John Hunt, MD of Mpact Recycling.
This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Ernest Sonnenberg (pictured above), Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services who said that the City of Cape Town looks forward to welcoming the local and international guests to its shores. “The City of Cape Town is proud to be considered a flagship municipality for the successes we have achieved in establishing a successful and economically viable recycling and waste management operations. This shows our commitment to being a Well Run City. We look forward to sharing the lessons we have learnt with other municipalities, and learning from our international colleagues”, Cllr Sonnenberg says.
PETCO says they have also received a lot of interest from local universities and research institutes who want to expose their students to the international experts. “However, because seats at the conference are limited and at a premium, we have arranged an additional guest lecture by Secretary General Peter Sundt, free of charge and exclusively for students, which will take place on 19th November,” Scholtz says. It is hoped that in the spirit of Sharing, Dialogue and Action, that the students can engage in meaningful discussions that could lead to future research and cooperation.
- A limited number of tickets are still available and tickets will be allocated on a first come, first paid basis.
- Information about the conference, speakers and topics can be obtained from www.petco.co.za/conference.
- Full delegate fee is R1 750 (excluding VAT) per delegate and includes coffee and tea breaks, lunch and a post-event cocktail function.
- Please note that no payment will be accepted at the door or on the day.
- Registrations for the students’ session can be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Limited sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are also still available.