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SA recycled enough plastic in 2018 to fuel 200,000 cars for a year

According to a study by Plastics South Africa, more than 519,370 tons of plastic waste was collected for recycling in 2018.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa seems to be on the right path with regards to recycling plastic in efforts to save our planet.

According to a study by Plastics South Africa, an umbrella body representing the South African plastics industry, more than 519,370 tons of plastic waste was collected for recycling in 2018. This was enough to save oil that could fuel 200,000 cars for a year, travelling 30,000 km/year.

Plastic recycling grew by 6.7% in 2018 from 2017, saving 246,000 tons of carbon dioxide (the equivalent emissions of 51,200 cars in the same year).

The plastic recycling industry also impacted positively on job creation and the economy, providing direct employment to more than 7,800 people last year and injecting R2.3 billion into the informal sector through the purchasing of recyclable plastic waste.

"Despite facing major challenges last year, the plastics industry made important strides forward. Plastic bags manufacturers removed fillers to produce bags that are fully recyclable. In addition, 100% certified recycled plastic material is now used to produce some carrier bags. This creates an end-market for recycled plastic
products and helps to reduce waste to landfill. By ensuring that the products we create become part of a circular economy, we create a win-win situation for the environment and for the industry that employs 60,000 people," said Anton Hanekom, executive director at Plastics SA.

He added that: "Recyclables are a valuable resource and should be removed from the solid waste stream before reaching landfills where they become contaminated and extraction costly. Similarly, stakeholders have to work together to manufacture locally, process efficiently and manage the end-of-life products so that they benefit the consumer, the industry and the planet.”