European waste collection company Knowaste has announced plans to launch its absorbent hygiene product (AHP) recycling service in South Africa.

The company’s expansion into South Africa is part of its campaign to tackle the global issue of nappy waste.

The first AHP recycling plant will be established in Midrand in Gauteng and is expected to launch in the first half of 2017.

Knowaste said that Gauteng was selected for the new site as it is the “economic hub of South Africa” and has the highest population density per square metre in the country.

“Gauteng currently generates in excess of 1.7 billion nappies per year alone, excluding female hygiene and adult incontinence products,” Knowaste said in a statement.

The company’s plans tie into the South African Government’s ongoing review of waste reduction, recycling and recovery as part of its environmental policy. This policy is responsible for some of the measures adopted by the country in order to address landfill gas emissions and the pressure which is placed on water resources as a result.

Lance Anderson, Knowaste’s business development director for South Africa, said: “AHP waste is a major problem in South Africa, as it is globally. Bringing Knowaste’s recycling process to the country marks a major step in reducing South Africa’s dependency on landfill and offers the opportunity to promote its green credentials.”

Once the plant has been established, Knowaste plans to develop an additional three sites in South Africa by 2022.