A producer-responsibility organisation (PRO) Polyco for the plastic industry is set to launch a municipal-focused recycling strategy, for the purpose of significantly enhancing South Africa’s recycling rates.In a partnership with Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM), Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB), and the Buffalo City Development Agency (BCMDA), Polyco is set to be working with municipalities to invest in recycling infrastructure, innovation, implementation of consumer education and awareness campaign in East London. Polyco is a registered PRO in South Africa, which has decided to expand its focus to all plastic types under extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations. This is in response to the recently introduced waste management regulations. Polyco’s decision has been made to increase its support to producers in order to manage their products’ life cycle responsibly. Patricia Pillay, Chief Executive Officer at Polyco says that there is a growing demand for recyclate across industries in South Africa, and by improving collection facilities, recycling infrastructure, and influencing consumer behaviour towards recycling, they can ensure that they start meeting the demand for recyclate.
“Through this consortium, we have funded local recycling businesses within East London to facilitate the collection and recycling of material,” she added.Concurrently to funding the support for recycling businesses, the community-concentrated recycling initiative has been positively received by residents of the city. Recyclables will be collected by the residents as encouraged by the Packa-Ching recycling project. Recyclables will then be weighed and payment will be made for the recyclable. This simple system makes recycling and its reward easily accessible to everyone. “Polyco is ready to work with other municipalities to implement our recycling strategy, every municipality has unique social, economic, and environmental conditions, and our Packa-Ching recycling project has proven to be adaptive and successful across many different communities. Our recycling strategy is an extension to this, aimed at establishing recycling infrastructure and changing people’s perception regarding the value of waste.” Pillay concluded.