The PET Recycling Company (Pty) Ltd (PETCO) and the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA) conducted training with the Wastewant Youth Recycling Co-Operative Limited today, in honour of Youth Day being celebrated across the country on 16 June 2013.
The training forms a part of PETCO’s ongoing drive to empower communities and youth in the waste management and recycling sector. “The youth of South Africa are faced with a huge threat of future unemployment” says Cheri Scholtz, CEO of PETCO, “and we see this as an opportunity to showcase what the youth are doing to secure their own futures as well as to highlight the opportunities that lie in the green economy, and in particular the collection and recycling sector,” she adds.
The Wastewant Youth Recycling Co-Operative Limited is a youth owned operation, based in Elsies River, Cape Town employing youth between the ages of 18-35 years old. The co-operative is co-owned by Rowen Anderson and Kaylyn De Mink, two bright, young entrepreneurs with a passion for community empowerment, upliftment and job creation.
Keeping kids employed & off the street
The Co-operative will be working with the local community, long term residents at the adjacent Elim Night Shelter and the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District, to keep youth off the street and facilitate youth development by creating jobs for young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
At present they specialise in waste management and collection and recycling of paper, glass, plastics and PC Boards. They also offer consulting services on corporate waste minimisation and recycling and offer separation at source and storage solutions. The Co-operative was opened on World Environment Day, 5 June, this year and will be spearheading learner and community involvement in waste reduction and recycling in the area.
PETCO is proud to be supporting this initiative, with not only training and literature but the provision of bulk bags and further equipment in 2014 once they find their feet.
You can assist in increasing collection of good, clean PET by:
- Participation in collection and awareness raising projects
- Making use of drop off facilities and plastics recovery stations at municipal collection points.
- Separation of waste into recyclable and non
- Increased purchasing and use of clear bags (that make it easier for collectors to see what’s in them)
- Maybe even buying items containing recycled content to “close the loop”
The story of PET collection
Recently, the PET Recycling Company (PTY) Ltd launched a moving story of PET bottle collection showing how collection of plastic cooldrink bottles, for recycling, is changing the lives of many.
The launch coincided with World Environment Week, which ran from 3-7 June 2013. It’s a tribute to the valuable link their collectors serve in the value chain, enabling the recycling of PET, boosting the economy, creating jobs and sustainable livelihoods, while reducing poverty and conserving the environment:
People have the most impact on our environment. The nature and extent of this impact depends on factors such as the type of economic activity, distribution of wealth and resources, cultural values and lifestyles. With plastic packaging fulfilling an ever growing, convenience and lifestyle enabling role in society it is only natural that the volume of packaging consumed is growing. Associated with the consumption of packaging is the increasing amount of waste generated from disposal thereof.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the clear plastic resin commonly used to make beverage bottles and food containers. It is part of the polyester family and can be easily recycled into new bottles or other consumer products such as fibre for clothing, geotextiles and carpeting; new packaging and even bottles. This makes it a valuable material for recovery and recycling. By recycling this material they not only enable the development of new products and inject money into the economy, but they support a large, informal sector of collectors and selective waste pickers that sustain a livelihood from collecting bottles.
Collectors play a vital role
Not only do these collectors play a vital role in waste management, in assisting industry to reach their collection targets, but they aid in reducing the environmental impact of packaging (decreasing demand on non-renewable resources, saving in landfill space and decreased carbon emissions).
In 2012, with the assistance of shareholders, stakeholders, recyclers and collectors PETCO recycled 1.7 billion PET plastic beverage bottles – that’s 4.5 million bottles each and every day. Close to R 193 million was paid for sorted, baled bottles delivered to recyclers and approximately R 422 million was injected into the local economy through the sale of recycled PET for downstream products. This is a significant achievement and hopefully a motivating factor to encourage consumers to participate in recycling.
The Story of PET Bottle collection will give a face to the collection industry and highlight the vital role these individuals and organisations play in our society and on the ground.
PETCO would like to encourage people to become active supporters of sustainable and equitable living, to promote awareness and an understanding that communities play a central role in changing attitudes towards environmental issues, and to develop partnerships for communities and people enjoy a safer and more fulfilling future.