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Polystyrene recycling initiative kicks off in Durban

The Polystyrene Association of South Africa has teamed up with Wildlands for a recycling initiative aimed at reducing the amount of Polystyrene that ends up in Durban’s landfill sites.

The initiative will see Wildlands collecting, processing and supplying post-consumer and industrial recycled polystyrene products to manufacturers.

The process involves putting the collected polystyrene through an Ingot machine to transform it into a material used by recyclers for the manufacture of stationery, hangers, picture frames, cornices and skirtings. The transformed polystyrene can also be mixed with a special cement mixture for use in building and construction.

A valuable resource

Expanded polystyrene is one of South Africa’s most commonly used materials relied upon by everyone, from canteens and restauranteurs to spaza shops and supermarkets because it offers excellent insulation properties, extends the shelf life of food and protects items against breakage.

“The wonderful thing about polystyrene is that the material consists of 96% air – making it incredibly lightweight,” explains Adri Spangenberg, Director of the Polystyrene Association of South Africa.

“This has a significant impact on carbon emissions during transportation, but also unfortunately causes it to be easily blown away by wind where it becomes visible litter found on beaches or along roadsides,” she says.

She adds that few people are aware that polystyrene is a valuable resource that is readily recycled in South Africa.

Supporting a growing industry

Commenting on their involvement in the project Kaveer Singh of Wildlands says “We are very excited to become part of this project that will not only divert a valuable item away from landfill, but also help to create jobs and support a growing industry.”

Residents and businesses looking to take advantage of this new drive can take their cleaned, white or coloured white or coloured polystyrene to Wildlands Cato Manor Recycling Depot.

“Every bit counts and we are working on establishing more collection and recycling depots in and around Durban in the near future. The public or companies that have large quantities of polystyrene are also welcome to contact us on 078 187 8793 if they need assistance with collection,” Kaveer notes.

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