Business: Nampak Launches “Blue to Green” Recycling Banks
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Officially launched during a special function at Nampak head office in July, the campaign has the full support of the Nampak group and received R800 000 from its corporate social investment committee. Another key partner is Apple Green Holdings, which specialises in environmentally friendly waste management solutions. Moving forward, Apple Green is responsible for managing the recycling banks on a day-to-day basis.
Nampak Recycling’s “Blue to Green” Project Manager, Meshack Mosiya, confirmed that initially 20 sites are being rolled-out in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. These include Nampak head office, Nampak Tissue and Growthpoint in Rosebank and Sandton. Some shopping centres are also earmarked. The rollout, which commenced in July, is expected to be complete by the end of September 2009. Further sites will depend on success levels.
The “Blue to Green” campaign is specifically designed to involve office staff, as well as members of the general public in the recovery of recyclable materials, such as paper, cardboard boxes, glass bottles, cans, plastic, etc. (Many Nampak divisions have the technical capacity to recycle these materials in their manufacturing processes.)
Accordingly, each recycling bank contains three clearly demarcated sections for plastic, paper and cans/glass. To ensure that the waste is properly separated and empty of any leftover liquid contents, Apple Green representatives man the recycling banks. Approximately 20 informal jobs have been created as a result.
Once the recycling banks are full, Apple Green facilitates delivery of the waste to the select Nampak factories.
Nampak Recycling decided to promote the “Blue to Green” campaign in office parks for several reasons. Firstly, offices generate a lot of waste, which can be recycled. Easy access to a recycling bank is convenient and cost-efficient. Secondly, office workers, who probably don’t have the means or time to recycle household waste, can now do so at work. “All they need to do is bring their recycling waste to work, and someone separates it and puts it in the bin,” explained Meshack.
The shopping centre rollout is a further extension of this theme. It broadens reach within the context of accessibility and convenience.
The benefits of the campaign can be summarised as follows:
· Promoting recycling
· Increasing participation
· Generating recyclables for Nampak businesses
· Developing SMME’s
· Creating employment opportunities
At the launch, the Executive Director of the Packaging Council of South Africa (PACSA), Andrew Marthinusen, said that the campaign slogan of, “The earth can’t keep giving – put something back” was absolutely spot-on.
He highlighted recent research about the environment, in terms of which 90% of South Africans think that litter is the greatest threat facing our country. While packaging is often fingered as a serious contributor in the war against waste, particularly due to its perceived pervasiveness in the form of litter, it constitutes less than 10% of all landfill waste! In fact, builders’ waste and garden greens are the main culprits.
But, in the same year, South Africa manufactured 3.6 million tons of packaging and paper, of which 1.5 million tons (± 40.8%) were recycled by means of voluntary schemes. What’s more, the paper industry even increased its recycling rate from 53% to 58%. Similar successes have been reported in respect of recycling other packaging materials.
The National Waste Bill became law on the 1st of July 2009. It introduces the concept of “extended producer responsibility”, as well as “cradle to cradle” processes, whereby industry must reduce, re-use, recycle and recover materials at all costs. Landfills are the last resort. The Act also empowers the Minister to develop an Industry Waste Management Plan. In this regard, the Department approached PACSA last year and the organisation requested five outcomes, namely:
· Build on the voluntary schemes already in place
· Involve the whole supply chain
· Channel the funds from the sale of plastic bags into environmental initiatives
· Ensure that the levy, which is being introduced to further drive recycling rates, is affordable, realistic and compulsory to all industry role players (not just a select few)
· Focus on household and consumer waste
In light of the fact that the Bill enables municipalities to enforce the household separation of waste and impose serious fines for littering, Andrew said that Nampak Recycling’s “Blue to Green” campaign complements the government’s vision and PACSA’s approach. What’s more, Nampak works with all the main suppliers in the industry and develops a wide range of packaging solutions that can be recycled. Significant headway is therefore already being made in key legislative focus areas.
On behalf of PACSA, Andrew congratulated Nampak Recycling and Apple Green Holdings for a job well done.
Nampak Tissue’s newly appointed Managing Director, Kennedy Nzimande, said that his division is committed to ensuring that the “Blue to Green” campaign exceeds all expectations. Nampak Recycling supplies Nampak Tissue with recycled paper, which is used in the manufacture of tissue products, such as toilet paper and roller towel.
Anyone requiring more information about Nampak Recycling and/or the “Blue to Green” campaign is asked to contact Nampak Recycling’s toll free number 0800 018 818.
Tel: 011 467 2264
Cell: 083 421 9683
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