Greater collaboration to improve collection and recycling of liquid board packaging | Infrastructure news

In an increased effort to drive collection and recycling of liquid board packaging (LBP) in South Africa, Tetra Pak South Africa will join the PET Recycling Company NPC (PETCO), a well-established Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO). Tetra Pak’s membership commences on 1 January 2023.

The decision for Tetra Pak to join PETCO was driven by the need for greater collaboration to improve the collection and recycling of LBP in South Africa.  

PETCO has a successful track record in supporting recycling value chains in South Africa. PETCO will be administering an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme to cater for the LBP sector from 1 January 2023, in addition to the other EPR schemes already being offered by PETCO.

As the first member to join PETCO’s LBP EPR scheme, Tetra Pak South Africa and PETCO are taking an exciting first step with this new partnership, and in time, the expectation is that other LBP converters and brand owners will join this scheme for a greater impact. 

As part of this joining of forces, both Tetra Pak and PETCO commit to improving awareness by increased educational activities among the South African public on issues related to LBP segregation and collection. In addition, the scheme will be implementing a model for value chain support to stimulate collection and increase end-use demand for recycled content.

There is already existing recycling capacity and infrastructure for LBP in the country that has been developed over the years, and the intended model will seek to maximise use of this.

Recycling is at the centre of a low-carbon circular economy that aims to reduce waste and keep materials in use for longer. LBP can be recycled and transformed into a wide range of new products. However, segregation at source, collection and sorting are critical for recycling to work. Tetra Pak believes that EPR regulations are essential and in line with the company’s ambitions of improving the recycling value chain for LBP.

The success of a circular economy requires collaboration beyond the traditional boundaries of business operators. This partnership will ensure that both partners bring together a network of producers, collectors, suppliers, and other key stakeholders.

PETCO CEO, Cheri Scholtz says in offering an EPR scheme for LBP, they see immediate synergies for a number of our members that already sell products in both PET and LBP.

“We also know that the waste streams within which we work are not exclusive to PET and as such expanding our focus to include LBP is relatively simple for our teams in the field.

“As with our other EPR schemes, each scheme will remain self-funding and all value chain support will be funded directly by the producers of that specific material. PETCO remains committed to ensuring that all of our members, current and new, are and remain compliant with the Section 18 EPR regulations. We look forward to working with Tetra Pak South Africa and other users of LBP to build on the successes achieved by PETCO and our members to date.”

Klaus Plenge, Tetra Pak South Africa Managing Director, commented saying that a critical pillar of their sustainability strategy is founded on their commitment to a low-carbon circular economy.

“At Tetra Pak, we are acutely aware of the broader impact of our operations on the environment and society and as such we are always striving to find more progressive ways to continue protecting what’s good.  As Tetra Pak South Africa we are proud to be joining forces with PETCO, which will help us unite to build a circular economy together in South Africa.

“Our commitment is towards people and the environment which is connected to ‘Producing Responsible Products’. Packaging has and continues to offer essential functionalities: protecting food and beverages, allowing their safe use and transport, and preventing food wastage. The beverage carton industry believes that packaging can, and should, contribute to mitigating the biggest global challenge: climate change, while not compromising on food safety.”

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