The PET plastic industry in South Africa has injected R60-million into recycling in South Africa, effectively doubling recycling tonnage in the past four years.
PETCO, the PET recycling company was instrumental in initiating this achievement, which was made possible by industry co-operation.
Growth in the recycling of Polyethylene Terephthalate – the plastic that is used for consumer goods packaging, and in particular, beverages – has continued its upward climb, despite setbacks over the last two years.
"PET plastic can be likened to a valuable mineral, like diamonds, because it is a resource that offers great value to its industry, as well as to the economy as a whole," says Cheri Scholtz, PETCO's CEO.
Not only does the plastic offer versatile packaging, its production has a low carbon footprint, making it an energy efficient and less impactful packaging material.
"Targeted collection, evaluation of our activities and environmental awareness were the PETCO themes for fiscal 2008," says Scholtz. "This year will certainly prove to be a watershed in our development, as we grew closer to 40 members, collected some 23 000 tons of post consumer PET, assisted with the establishment of more collection and drop-off centres and steadily built awareness through consistent and focused messaging."