Many landfills in South Africa are reaching their capacity. This is a warning sent out by the Environmental Affairs Department. In South Africa, we only recycle 10% of our waste! 90% of all local waste finds its way to our landfills.
Recycling companies are tackling this problem head-on. Many offer recycling of waste at source. This is where sourcing, sorting, and sending achieves goods results.
The banning of imported plastic waste from large exporters are now limiting options for the disposal of plastics available. Recycling companies are taking a fresh approach to the landfill and waste disposal problem. Space for dumping waste is fast running out. A call for public and private sectors to take recycling up a couple of notches has gone out.
It is time to recycle and separate waste at its source. The two categories we are focusing on are recyclable and non-recyclable waste.
Can People Make Money Through Recycling?
The plastic industry in South Africa supports 7,890 jobs. 58,470 South Africans get an income through recycling. Income-generating opportunities are boosted through government programmes and businesses.
Is recycling in South Africa a profitable business? Yes. There are many recycling plastic opportunities for South Africans. Income opportunities are being created by recycling plastic waste.
South Africa has a large sector of informal waste pickers. These are individuals that collect recyclables from our landfills. They also collect recyclable materials from other waste streams. They then sell them to recycling companies. Recycling companies make a profit.
Waste management forms a vital part of our society. The recycling of waste prolongs the life of plastics. It also unlocks the potential for the recycling of plastic products.
This is a brilliant opportunity to boost the South African economy. Many municipalities in South African are partnering with organisations to improve waste management in their communities.
How to Make a Difference by Recycling Other Materials
Recycling companies are making a difference by recycling a lot more than just plastic. What else can we recycle in South Africa? South Africans are fast catching on that recycling is important for the environment. This includes private households and businesses.
Here are the recovery rates for the various materials:
- 69% cans
- 59% paper
- 25% glass
- 17% plastic
Sorting waste at the source makes a difference, as it is often in an uncontaminated state.
Why I Need to Know What I Can Recycle
Many materials are recyclable. You need to know what we can and which we can’t recycle.
- We can recycle metal. This includes cold drink and beer cans, food tins, metal lids, paint and oil cans, and rusted cans and tins.
- You can recycle glass bottles and food jars. You cannot recycle light bulbs and drinking glasses. Never dispose of light bulbs in the rubbish bin as many contain toxins. Take your old light bulbs to drop–off points at Woolworths and Pick n Pay stores.
- Paper is recyclable. This includes white paper from your business, books, magazines and newspaper. We cannot recycle laminated paper. You can recycle your cardboard and cereal boxes. You cannot recycle waxed paper, stickers, confetti and carbon paper.
- You can recycle Tetrapak. These are milk and juice containers lined with foil and plastic. We need to recycle them separately. We recycle Tetrapak into furniture, stationery and roof tiles.
- We cannot recycle batteries. There are depots for recycling batteries at certain supermarket outlets. Refrain from throwing batteries in the trash.
What Do I Need to Know About Recycling Plastics?
We make plastic from oil, a non-renewable resource. We can recycle most of the plastic we use daily. Keep an eye out for the plastic recycling logos that appear on plastic packaging. These tell a story. Each logo will tell you what we make your plastic container from. We recycle different plastics separately.
All You Need to Know About Plastic Stats
How much plastic does South Africa recycle?
- South Africa has around 300 recycling companies. 30% of the chief recycling companies recycle the bulk of these plastics. Gauteng has half of all recycling companies in South Africa.
- Currently, South Africa recycles about 67% of all plastic PET bottles. In 2016, this figure stood at only 50%.
- In 2018, South Africa recycled 46.3% of all plastic products. Europe, in the same time frame, recycled a mere 31.3%.
Recycling Is Making a Difference to the Economy – the Remade Difference
The buying prices of recycled plastics are growing. The Earth’s resources are not infinite. We cannot afford to waste them. Let us help you make a difference to the world around you.
Remade Recycling is here to help you manage your waste. Talk to us about managing your waste for onsite resolutions. Let us work together to create a bright and clean future for all concerned.