Transpaco’s activities are primarily in areas of environmental concern. Transpaco is committed to the protection of the environment and dedicated to the conservation and re-use of natural resources. The company wholeheartedly supports any realistic initiative by government to alleviate the problem of litter in South Africa. Litter is a major source of concern to be resolved by all South Africans.
Transpaco is ideally positioned to take advantage of the increased awareness of and need for recycling. There is co-operation between the plastics industry, government and retailers in the establishment of national recycling campaigns.
Transpaco has all the components to lead this initiative. It is the only company in South Africa capable of facilitating the complete life-cycle of plastic.
ENVIRONMENT GROUP STATEMENT
Transpaco is one of the largest polyethylene recyclers of post-consumer plastic waste in Africa. Transpaco Recycling facilitates the re-use of resources by recycling materials that would otherwise end up in solid waste dumps.
This saves 25 000m3 of airspace on landfill sites annually.
The group has invested extensively in the recycling industry and boasts one of the most sophisticated systems available for the reprocessing of PP and heavily printed and metallised BOPP films.
Approximately 2 000 tons of plastic waste per month or 24 000 tons a year are recycled by Transpaco. The recycling division specialises in the recycling of clean and post-consumer low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The waste LDPE and HDPE that Transpaco purchases originates from shopping centres, industrial activities, agricultural activities and landfill sites. Typically products manufactured from recycled polyethylene include:
Builders sheeting and related building products
Refuse bags (various colours)
Agricultural water pipes
General packaging such as sheeting and tubing
Transpaco interacts and co-ordinate with government and local municipalities on waste recovery initiatives on an ongoing basis and endorses a policy of reusing and recycling all plastic materials wherever feasible.
A summary of the most recent Plastics SA’s annual plastics recycling survey is set out below:
Tonnages recycled and diverted from landfill
The local recycling rate was 18,6%. Tonnages recycled increased slightly by 2,7% to a total of 260 930 tons in 2013, which is still slightly ahead of virgin polymer growth. The consumption of virgin
polymer grew 2,2% in the same period to a total of 1,4 million tons. The exchange rate is favouring exports and a total of 18 920 tons of waste plastics were exported in this period to be recycled elsewhere. The total tonnages of plastics waste diverted from landfill equals 20,0% of all plastics manufactured in 2013.
South Africa only does mechanical recycling and no commercial energy from- waste plants are operational. There are two or three small private incineration and diesel-from-waste plants on trial.
Due to a lack of visible recycling in shopping centres and conference venues, the consumer is often of the opinion that little or no recycling takes place. However, compared to other international players in terms of mechanical recycling South Africa excels. South Africa locally recycled 18,6% of all virgin polymer converted in 2013 compared to Australia and Europe EU+2 which only recycled 9,2% and 14,2%, respectively in 2012. Australia exported a large quantity of recyclable waste for recycling in the East. A total of 20,5% was diverted from landfill in Australia and 20,0% in South Africa.
In Europe, the mechanical recycling figure includes both local (European) recycling and mechanical recycling elsewhere (East).
South Africa is therefore amongst the leading countries in the world with regards to mechanical recycling. If we compare this to the total tonnages diverted from landfill, however, we still have a very long way to go to get to Zero Plastics to Landfill by 2030.
Source: Plastics|SA “National Plastics Recycling Survey - 2013”