SOUTH AFRICA – Emerging markets integrated waste management company Averda has secured US$30 million loan from International Finance Corporation (IFC) to construct a new plastics recycling plant in Rosslyn, Gauteng.

The loan is expected to help deliver climate-changing benefits through private-sector-led integrated waste management services.

Part of this loan is already in use and supporting several of Averda’s existing sustainable waste management projects in South Africa, Oman and Morocco, the company says.

“Locally, most of the investment has been put to use in the construction of a new plastics plant in Rosslyn, creating 50 new jobs,” says Averda South Africa director Chris O’Neill.

The loan will help Averda to significantly accelerate other sustainability projects, allowing Averda to reduce the waste sent to landfills while increasing the volumes of waste composted, recycled and transformed into energy, and progressing South Africa towards a more circular economy, he adds.

Through the new plant, which will be operating by the end of the year, we aim to process up to 12 000 tons per year of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) by converting them back to reusable A-grade plastic pellets, with volume production starting in the first quarter of 2023,” O’Neill notes.

These pellets will be used by Averda’s customers to remold or extrude new products.

The plastic waste is collected from the waste sectors, and this may include Averda’s landfill sites.

This recycling and re-using minimize the impact on carbon emissions, as the Averda process essentially shreds the plastic waste and thereafter extensively washes it before extruding the plastic.

Averda will also operate a material recovery facility where source-separated recyclables will be further segregated and from where some of the input plastics will derive, which will be used for the plastic plant, adds O’Neill.

LDPE is frequently used in film applications and bag applications, but it can also be used to make wash bottles, containers, plastic extrusion, food storage containers and rigid trays.

As HDPE is the most widely used type of plastic, it is suitable for the making of chemical containers as it has chemical-resistant properties.

HDPE can be used in the manufacture of containers to store laundry, shampoo, conditioner, household cleaning products, motor oil and antifreeze, as well as in the manufacture of recycling bins.

The strength of these bottles is increased when they’ve been colored or pigmented, O’Neill concludes.

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