Extrupet has just become the first recycler in Africa to produce food grade recycled PET (rPET) for the food and beverage industry. They are the only recycler in the world to have been certified for British Retail Consortium (BRC) level one accreditation in the conversion of post consumer flakes to rPET for use in food packaging.
‘This certification is a world first for a recycling company! We are extremely proud of the fact that here in Africa we have recyclers of such quality and innovation,’ said Cheri Scholtz, CEO of PETCO, a South African recycling company with Extrupet as its largest contracted recycler.
‘Recycling PET has economic advantages too. Using rPET reduces CO2 emissions and cuts dependence on imported oil stocks used to make ‘virgin’ plastic (nurdles). It also helps create jobs.’
more peace of mind for retailers – and shoppers
These landmark developments mean that a percentage of recycled PET (rPET) can be put back into virgin containers for food application, thereby closing the packaging loop and providing a new market for recycled PET in South Africa. The BRC accreditation provides retailers with peace of mind when selling their products in rPET.
One of the examples of packaging already containing rPET is Woolworths’ sandwich packs. It will soon be joined by their beverage bottles. PETCO now supports two value chains: Bottle-2-Fibre (B2F) and Bottle-2-Bottle (B2B).
‘The attainment of the BRC accreditation for the Extrupet ‘B2B’ unit was the culmination of years of preparatory work on this project.’
As a ‘world first’ it places the South African PET recycling industry at the forefront of the global drive to reduce PET waste going to landfills. It serves as yet another example of the productivity of the Extrupet/PETCO partnership at its best,’ says Extrupet’s chief operating officer (COO), Chandru Wadhwani.
Recycling one ton of PET bottles saves 6.2 cubic metres of landfill space. It saves enough energy to keep a 15-watt energy-saver light glowing for 24hours.
PETCO urges all involved in the PET packaging industry chain to become members of PETCO, in order to protect and promote PET growth, awareness, recycling and reuse. A strong membership base also helps the PET industry to influence national environmental authorities.