The local plastic recycling rate of 19.6% is set to increase with the help of SA’s first recycling centre locator app for smartphones from Tuffy brands.

“Many South African’s don’t take the time to recycle mainly because they just don’t know where to take their rubbish,” says Rory Murray, marketing director, Tuffy Brands. “This is especially true for those people who live in areas where door-to-door collections are non-existent.”

With the help of the new app, people will be able to easily locate the recycling centre closest to them out of the 215 centres listed. “We are hoping that by having this app freely available at the push of a button, more South Africans will begin to contribute to recycling which is important because it is better for the environment, better for our economy and better for job creation,” says Murray.

“Getting more consumers to recycling centres will also help elevate our plastic recycling levels and the overall recycling of glass, paper and metal waste.”

According to the latest plastic recycling survey by SAPRO, while there has been an increase in the amount of plastic tonnage recycled at 9.3% from the previous year, the plastics industry is aiming for a 40% recycling rate, 5% more than the global maximum recycling rate.

Murray says that consumers can play a huge role in helping to reach this target. “To put it in perspective, the latest plastic recycling report, stated that if one million families each add a 1 litre yoghurt tub every second week to their recyclable waste, the plastics packaging in the waste stream will start decreasing significantly.”

He explains, “The more people recycle, the more consistent the supply of materials will be, which allows companies like Tuffy to produce product from 100% recycled material, providing major benefits to the industry with more product to recycle. But most importantly environmentally recycling is the right thing to do and simple to execute when people are given the right tools.”

“There is a huge demand for good quality waste, which currently exceeds supply, which is why we believe that by providing tools to consumers to assist will go a long way in elevating the recycling rate and ensuring we continue to see growth of the 20.7% of plastic waste diverted from landfill sites,” he adds.

It also helps to create jobs. “The plastics industry has a combined turnover of approximately R50 billion and employs over 60,000 formal and informal workers,” he says.

Murray says that the main feature on the app is the GPS recycling centre locator, which includes integration of Google maps to navigate consumers to the site and each location listed provides the user with a list of what they recycle as well as their contact details. “You can search by region, and in the near future we will include integration to social channels so people can share their recycling activities with their friends.”

The Tuffy Recycling app is free and available on iTunes, Google Play and Android stores.