Recycling PET, the plastic used to manufacturer beverage bottles and food containers, has helped generate almost 26 000 indirect jobs, said Petco CEO, Cheri Scholtz.

Scholtz believed the plastics recycling industry can reduce poverty across South Africa and contribute to gross domestic product growth.

Petco is the industry organisation responsible for PET recycling in South Africa.

Addressing the South African National Bottled Water Association’s Conference in Midrand on Tuesday, Scholtz said Petco and its recycling initiatives had become a global benchmark for extended producer responsibility because of its success to bale by bale, year by year, reduce the volume of post-consumer PET plastic in the waste stream.

Working with collectors, recyclers, converters and packaging designers to ensure the successful growth of the PET recycling industry, Petco is well on the way to achieving its challenging target of recycling 50% of all beverage PET by 2015, she says.

Extrupet’s Chief Operating Officer, Chandru Wadhwani, told the conference that the dilemma for bottle converters to meet challenging customer demands for “marketing friendly” packaging while at the same time meeting the demands of the Waste Act to be responsible producers’ was an ever growing one.

“No longer is it sufficient for packaging to just be ‘recyclable’, it must be able to demonstrate that it is in fact being recycled,” Mr Wadhwani said.

He continued: “Designing packaging with recycling in mind from the offset is critical in determining its final recyclability as recyclers are ever cautious about which ‘packs’ they will accept, and which they will not,

“Ultimately, there is a ‘win/win’ approach that can be achieved from pro-active engagement between the designers of packaging and recyclers so we can all ultimately achieve a ‘cradle to cradle’ solution for packaging,” he said.

Source: Business Live