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Industry leaders champion new metal packaging industry

MetPac-SA was recently announced as the new Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) tasked with representing the interests of the metal packaging industry. 

Delanie Bezuidenhout, CEO of MetPac-SA explained that the organisation will be focused on establishing the industry as a valuable and recognised contributor to sustainability throughout the supply chain, and beyond.

“We will support and represent members on industry matters related to operational, regulatory and environmental issues,” Bezuidenhout said. “In addition, we will focus much of our resources on promoting the benefits of metal packaging and the sustainable attributes of steel and aluminium.”

This industry includes the recycling of steel, tin plates and aluminium packaging. Its members include raw material suppliers such as ArcelorMittal and Hulamin, as well as brand owners like Nampak, ABInBEV, Distell, Heineken, PacSolve, Tin Can Man, WYDA Packaging, Coca-Cola and Nestlé.

Positive responses

Industry leaders have welcomed the new body. Charles Muller, executive director of Packaging SA said it was “essential that the metal packaging sector is properly prepared and organised to play an integral part in submitting the Paper and Packaging Industry Waste Management Plan”.

Dr Casper Durandt, franchise technical manager at Coca-Cola SA said the new body would benefit the industry through a focussed and aligned approach to fulfil extended producer responsibilities in cleaning up the environment, lowering our carbon footprint and saving our planet by collecting beverage cans for recycling.

This sentiment was echoed by Klaus Hass from Nampak Bevcan. He said that the new industry body would provide the rigid metal industry of South Africa with a unified voice by bringing together all relevant stakeholders (i.e. metal suppliers, packaging converters, brand owners, retailers and other national associations) to address the environmental aspect of packaging waste.

“We will be supporting the efforts of MetPac-SA because it will benefit the industry through creating a coordinated effort aimed at meeting the legal requirements for waste management and contributing to the national policies for an effective and sustainable outcome in a green, circular economy,” he said.

Delanie said that the new body was excited to promote the versatility of metals through an ongoing marketing campaign, increase the market share of the industry and protect the interests of its members through stakeholder involvement.

“For this reason, we are encouraging more sector stakeholders to become members to ensure that the local metal packaging industry has a strong voice when matters that directly impact its present and future business interests are raised,” she said.

The organisation’s key focus areas will include:

  • Developing sustainability thinking, including positions statements and commitments, and the drafting of an Industry Waste Management Plan for the Metals Packaging Sector in response to the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Section 28 Call for Industry Waste Management Plans. This will form a key part of Packaging SA’s umbrella plan;
  • Bringing together manufacturers and suppliers to promote the benefits of metal packaging;
  • Preparing common messages and creating communication programmes on behalf of its members for a wider audience;
  • Monitoring local and international legislation that could have an impact on industry players;
  • Conducting statistical surveys of the industry;
  • Liaising with other role-players, stakeholders, government departments and industry associations to work towards better and more balanced legislation;
  • Managing issues and threats affecting the metals and canning industry; and
  • Working with the industry to ensure that they support the greater packaging industry’s vision of zero waste to the environment.

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