JOHANNESBURG – Recycling SMMEs received support from the PET recycling sector on Friday (July 13) in the form of equipment that will enable their effective participation in the mandatory recycling programme launched by the City of Ekurhuleni this month. This follows concerns from small industry players and informal waste collectors that they could be sidelined by the new “separation-at-source” municipal recycling initiative. PET plastic bottle producer Serioplast and the PET Recycling Company (PETCO) donated the equipment – baling machines, industrial platform scales and signage – to local SMMEs with the aims of improving the collection, weighing and baling of recyclable material for resale to recycling businesses. More beneficiaries are set to receive similar donations from PETCO in the coming weeks. The Gauteng-based small businesses included Ekhuliza Gauteng Primary Cooperative and CJU Environmental Management in Boksburg and Lakhwisha Holdings in Vosloorus. Speaking after the event, which was hosted in partnership with the City of Ekurhuleni, PETCO chief executive officer Cheri Scholtz said the citywide household recycling initiative was a positive step forward in creating a recycling consciousness among ordinary South Africans. “It is also an important opportunity for local government and industry stakeholders to develop meaningful strategies for waste reduction as well as an inclusive framework that facilitates participation and creates income-generating opportunities for businesses of all sizes,” she said. Scholtz said PET recycling had been particularly effective in creating a “circular economy”, with plastic water and soft drink bottles offering post-consumer value to waste collectors and recyclers, while also reducing producers’ need for virgin PET material. “The hard work and efforts of all players in the PET value chain – from brand owners and producers to individual waste pickers – allowed us to recycle 2.15 billion bottles in . . .
Anton Hanekom, Executive Director Plastics|SA Photo: On the 3 rd of July, citizens throughout the world celebrated Plastic Bag Free Day. This, hot on the heels of Environment Day and World Oceans Day, both celebrated a few weeks earlier. On all three these days, and throughout the month of Plastic Free July, consumers were encouraged to #beatplasticspollution and join the challenge to “choose to refuse” single-use plastics. Calls for action such as these make it clear that consumers around the world are tired of visible litter. By responding on social media platforms with zealous passion, they demand to see an end to plastic packaging such as carrier bags, drinking straws and cotton ear buds. Recognizing an opportunity to gain significant marketing and PR mileage some retailers and brand-owners were quick to respond to these public outcries by introducing alternatives such as paper bags and piloting a compostable bag made from starches, cellulose, vegetable oils and combinations as an “environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags” to replace all plastic carrier bags, barrier bags and fruit and vegetable bags. To the uninformed, this might seem an excellent and practical solution to solve an irritating problem. The reality, unfortunately, is far from the truth. Many of the so-called “plastic alternatives” that are now flooding the market have not been properly evaluated. Offering a compostable carrier bag to consumers sounds good in theory; however further scrutiny reveals that these bags and other biodegradable plastic products will only degrade in a properly managed composting facility and definitely not in the normal suburban compost heap. According to the internationally accepted standard for compostability (EN 13432), the packaging must be mixed with organic waste and maintained under test scale composting conditions for 12 weeks. If not kept under ideal conditions, these bags will not biodegrade and are most likely to end up in one of . . .
JOHANNESBURG, JULY 12, 2018 - With the world’s attention focused on finding greener solutions and cleaner technologies, opportunity is ripe for young wood and paper scientists and engineers in the forest product and paper sectors to step up to the challenge. The International Council of Forests and Paper Associations (ICFPA) invites students and young researchers to submit their work for the 2018-2019 edition of the Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award. The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) is co-ordinating the local leg of the competition which has now opened for entries. The entry deadline is 31 August 2018. Only three candidates from around the world will have the chance to travel to Canada in May next year to present their ideas to global CEOs in the forestry and paper industry. “In the new age of the bioeconomy, we want to stimulate competition among students and young researchers under the age of 30 who are doing exciting things with wood, paper and the process waste,” says PAMSA executive director and ICFPA president Jane Molony. “The sky is the limit with wood fibre,” she adds. Projects could include a wide range of activities relevant to forest-based science, products using forest-based raw materials, process improvements and other innovations throughout the value chain. Layered theme “The theme for the 2018-2019 award is centred on disruptive technologies that are revolutionising the future for forest-based products and services,” says Molony. The overarching topic has been divided into two categories: ‘future generation forestry’ and ‘innovations in wood-based industries’. “However projects are certainly not limited to these two categories,” she explains. Future generation forestry could encompass forest tree breeding and biotechnology; precision forestry and measurements and inventory. Innovation in wood-based industries could cover the analysis and properties of pulp and paper; facilities, . . .
CAPE TOWN – Industry stakeholders across South Africa’s PET plastic value chain have reaffirmed their commitment to extended producer responsibility with three key appointments to the national PET Recycling Company (PETCO) board. Nominated by the industry sectors they represent, the newly elected non-executive board members will serve a voluntary three-year term. Representing the retail sector, Lisa Ronquest, head of food technology for Woolworths, replaces retired colleague Tom McLaughlin, while Kevin O’Brien, who is the risk and sustainability executive for the SPAR Group, assumes the position vacated by Pick n Pay’s general manager for sustainability, André Nel. In addition, the board has appointed independent expert Professor Linda Godfrey, who is the CSIR’s principal scientist for waste research development and innovation, to contribute to the strategic oversight of PET recycling and assist with the development of an industry waste management plan. PETCO chief executive officer Cheri Scholtz welcomed the new directors, who join existing members representing the entire value chain – from brand owners, bottlers and resin producers to converters, retailers, recyclers and collectors. “It’s wonderful to have the broader commitment of industry players throughout the value chain on our board,” said Scholtz. She said the non-profit organisation was a good example of voluntary extended producer responsibility in action. “More than 15 years ago, industry players got together to develop a model to take care of their product at the end of its life cycle. PETCO takes collective responsibility for this on their behalf, while the oversight rests with the obliged industry.” Members pay a voluntary recycling fee on every tonne of raw material purchased, which last year enabled PETCO’s contracted recycling partners to pay out R430 million to collectors for baled bottles delivered to their plants. Scholtz said the organisation had achieved consistent . . .
A beach clean-up campaign this Saturday, paying tribute to World Environment and World Oceans Day, and in support of the Uzwelo Bags “Say NO to plastic” campaign, aims to remind Durbanites that 160 000 plastic bags are used globally every second, and that the five trillion plastic bags produced yearly could, side by side, encircle the world seven times. To help save our planet, join organisers Expand a Sign and Uzwelo Bags at The Green Hub (on the Coconut Grove side of Blue Lagoon) from 8am until 10am. Durban’s InterCement team has already committed to adding 15 people to help in the clean-up operation. Staff and volunteers will be given gloves and recycled Uzwelo Bags to carry the litter. Pictured are Tyron Govender and Donovan Pelser of Expand a Sign, with Sai Surajbali and Zamo Sithole. For more information, visit www.uzwelo.co.za CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Global warming, climate change or extreme weather, call it what you want, the effects are being felt around the world. Cape Town is in the midst of a four-year-long drought, which has seen households limited to 50 litres of water per person per day. To put that in perspective; it equates to a third of the per person consumption in the UK. With the news that the South-East of the UK is heading for a drought after two years of poor rainfall, we thought we would share a few tips on how to save water to ensure that our taps don’t run dry. Here they are: 1. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full These appliances are becoming more and more water-friendly, however, on average a dishwasher uses between 12 and 20 litres per load. If you wash a full load of dishes in a dishwasher, you will save more water than washing by hand. The same goes for washing clothes. 2. Limit your time in the shower A 4-minute long shower uses 45 litres of water, limiting your time in the shower is one of the best ways to save water 3. Hire a good Plumber A good plumber will be able to fix any leaking pipes or toilets, which can use up to 400 litres per day if left unfixed. In the long run; it will save you money as well as saving water. 4. Make small cuts Cutting back on water usage around the house by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, using grey water to water gardens and only flushing the toilet when necessary will help reduce your water usage drastically We encourage you to become water-wise this summer. If you want to ensure hydration while making sure you don’t waste water, contact us on 0845 500 4455 or alternatively email us at email@example.com. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
South Africa’s success with the collection and recycling of post-consumer polystyrene continues to grow thanks to the combined effort of collectors and recyclers around the country. Despite its label of being “difficult to recycle plastic”, polystyrene recycling figures have continued to grow over the past eight years. “The applications and uses for recycled polystyrene continue to grow in South Africa thanks to the unique combination of little bit of innovation, a lot of hard work and the can-do attitude of entrepreneurs who see possibility and opportunity in the unlikeliest of places,” confirms Adri Spangenberg, Chief Executive Officer of the Polystyrene Association of South Africa. Last year alone, more than 5 000 tons of polystyrene were diverted from landfill and recycled into other products such as seedling trays, retail coat hangers, cutlery, furniture components and picture frames. South Africa currently has 27 recyclers on record who convert recyclable high impact and expanded polystyrene into raw materials or cement blends. According to Adri, the biggest and fastest growing end-market for recycled polystyrene in South Africa continues to be the lightweight concrete bricks, owing to the fact that this application can use white, black and coloured food trays or take-away containers. Given the fact that polystyrene is 96 % air and only 4 % product, 5 000 tons of product is an impressive amount of material that was collected and recycled from households and businesses around the country. However, the light weight of the material that makes it the packaging material with the smallest carbon footprint, also causes logistical headaches for collectors who have to transport the material. “We are currently working with role-players of the entire polystyrene value chain on finding sustainable solutions to the problem of effectively moving air. By installing mobile balers and the ingot machine at some of our bigger collectors and recyclers, the volume of . . .
PORT ELIZABETH – THE South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) marked the International Day of the Seafarer by officially opening its new national headquarters in Nelson Mandela Bay today (June 25). The institute, which is based on the Ocean Sciences Campus of Nelson Mandela University in Summerstrand, operates under a government mandate to assist in growing the “blue economy” by facilitating maritime skills development through relationships between industry stakeholders and education and training institutions countrywide. Dignitaries at the opening were guided through SAIMI’s role in the city and the global maritime sector, which includes everything from aquaculture and fisheries to coastal and marine tourism, shipping and off-shore oil and gas exploration. “We are thrilled to be operating from our first permanent ‘home port’,” said SAIMI chief executive officer Professor Malek Pourzanjani. “But this is just the beginning for us, with our eventual aim being to have a presence in all South Africa’s coastal cities. “In fact, there is already a satellite office at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town, with a Durban branch in the pipeline. “This planned expansion will position us well to ensure that we continue to play a vital role in South Africa’s oceans economy.” The Institute also aims to strengthen maritime education and research through facilitating co-ordination and co-operation among education providers, a role which is enhanced by now being based at the Ocean Sciences Campus. Delivering an address on behalf of NMU vice-chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa, SAIMI advisory board member Dr Oswald Franks – who is also dean of the faculty of engineering, built environment and information technology – said the opening of the national head office represented significant a milestone in the development of SAIMI, which launched in 2014. “It also represents a significant commitment to the national agenda of growing the oceans . . .
Leading paper and plastic recycler, Mpact Recycling has announced that it will partner with the Mrs South Africa empowerment programme for the fourth consecutive year, this time as one of the main sponsors of the event. The decision is aimed at enlisting the help of contestants to raise awaresess around the importance of recycling in local communities. More than a traditional beauty pageant, Mrs South Africa is a female empowerment programme focused on raising the profile of women who strive to be the best versions of themselves. They can be mothers, entrepreneurs, businesswomen or homemakers between the ages of 25 and 49. Many are change-makers in their communities, but all are brave, real-life superwomen. The competition’s 100 semi-finalists are expected to immerse themselves in networking and self-development activities as well as raising funds for Women4Women South Africa. This is before 25 finalists are selected in June and the winner announced in November. Mpact Recycling communications manager, Donna-Mari Noble, says the campaign’s objectives fit neatly with Mpact Recycling’s drive to create awareness in communities such as assisted living facilities, old age homes, buy-back centres, garden sites and churches about the benefits of recycling. “By partnering with Mrs South Africa, Mpact Recycling gains 100 brand ambassadors this year.” She explains that Mpact Recycling has supported Mrs South Africa since 2014. “This year is different because we are now one of the main sponsors of the event, which means we have access to many more contestants than in previous years. This will help to increase our geographical reach and empower more communities to get actively involved in sustainable recycling initiatives.” Since partnering with Mrs South Africa four years ago, Mpact Recycling has identified several new communities for its recycling programme. “Not only do the people in these communities learn about the advantages of conserving the environment and . . .
The concept of ‘planting indigenous’ has been around for quite some time but many homeowners find making the move to a completely indigenous garden somewhat daunting. And while there might be some effort required initially, the results are incredibly worthwhile. South African landscaper and botanist, Elsa Pooley, forms part of the dynamic, green-fingered team at Renishaw Hills. They have been tasked with transforming the previously cultivated land at Renishaw Hills on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast into an indigenous haven. The mature lifestyle estate is situated within the ecologically-diverse Mpambanyoni Conservation Development which, for the past 150 years, has been cultivated for sugar cane. Pooley and a team of conservationists are working tirelessly to return the area to its original coastal forest and wetlands state while establishing unique, indigenous gardens for each home on the estate. “There are many misconceptions surrounding indigenous gardens, and sourcing indigenous plants is often quite difficult,” explained Elsa Pooley. “With a little bit of guidance, creating your own indigenous garden is easily done.” Here are Elsa Pooley’s top five reasons to plant indigenous: 1. Water-wise Often people only consider planting indigenous during droughts but then this falls away when rains return. Indigenous plants are much hardier and require less water than their exotic counterparts. They do require some water but are much better adapted to local conditions. 2. Attracts birds and wildlife Indigenous plants will attract butterflies, birds and a variety of wildlife to the garden. Even in winter, we’re seeing so many butterflies around. Using a variety of plants ensures a range of wildlife will be attracted to your garden. 3. Aesthetics There is a misperception that indigenous plants aren’t colourful or pretty, and look too wild. This really isn’t true. With careful planning, one can find indigenous plants that bloom or fruit in every . . .