SOUTH AFRICA – Food processing and packaging solutions company Tetra Pak has revealed plans to increase the recycling rate of Liquid Board Packaging (LBP) in South Africa to 40% by 2030.

The company revealed this during an event attended by the Ministry of Environment, Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), the biggest dairy and juice producers in South Africa, PETCO, FSC, Gayatri paper mill, Infinite industries, Timber plastic and waste picker associations.

Tetra Pak South Africa MD Klaus Plenge emphasized that the company was committed to its mission of leading sustainability, transformation and impacting industries and communities positively.

He noted that, in January, Tetra Pak joined the producer responsibility organization Petco, with its decision driven by the need for greater collaboration to improve the collection and recycling of its post-consumer packaging.

He highlighted that, within the last three years, the company had invested about R34 million (US$1.80m) in collection and recycling ecosystems, and this year, it was investing about R18 million (US$0.95m). Tetra Pak’s goal is to surpass 8,500 tonnes in collection and recycling.

The company is pursuing several initiatives to meet its goals, which include investing R10-million (US$0.53m) in a polymers and aluminium (PolyAl) recycling plant slated to launch in 2024.

This is expected to improve production lines for plastiwood furniture (recycled plastic), which is sold by various retailers countrywide.

In 2024, a pallet made from 100% PolyAl will be launched, aimed at engendering correct reuse and minimizing the environmental impact of packaging waste.

This will be available to fast-moving consumer goods operations nationally, which will enhance the recycling of PolyAl packaging materials.

Currently, 38% of LBP delivered at the Gayatri recycling facility in Germiston is derived from newly activated buyback centers facilitated by Tetra Pak and Petco.

Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment chemicals and waste policy, monitoring and evaluation chief director Kgauta Mokoena pointed out that key to the government’s policy is the aim of diverting waste away from landfill, and pivotal to this is collaboration with other stakeholders.

In this vein, Tetra Pak is undertaking industry collaborations dedicated to the collection and recycling of carton packages.

Tetra Pak is also endeavouring to increase collection and recycling collaboration on the ground, through avenues like collection and sorting, recycling capacity and the recovered material market.

Further to sustainability, Tetra Pak has also invested R500 million (US$26.43m) in its Pinetown plant, in Durban, to improve efficiencies, extend its reach and serve more customers, with this expected to be running partially at the end of this year, and to complete by March 2024.

The upgrade is expected to contribute to job creation, enhance local supply chains and considerably reduce lead times for delivery, Plenge acclaimed.

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