The gifts came in the form of 1,500 recycling bulk bags collectively worth R130,000 and were thanks not to Saint Nick, but rather to Safripol – a national company which manufactures polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic.
The distribution of the bags was overseen by PETCO, which is responsible for PET plastic bottle recycling in South Africa. The one tonne capacity bags will be used by collectors to store and transport their recyclables.
PET plastic bottles are destined for more than spending the rest of time in a landfill, PETCO says on its website. When recycled, PET plastic bottles are turned into many new and useful products, like fibre-fill for duvets and pillows, PET trays for fruit, geotextiles, and even brand new bottles.
Easy ways that you can help South Africa’s hard-working recyclers ensure that plastic waste stays out of the environment includes separating your trash at home. Then find a recycler in your neighbourhood to drop off your recyclables with.
This valuable donation helps collectors to store their recyclables and build up their volumes, as recyclers do not buy small quantities at a time.PETCO collections and training project manager, Belinda Booker.
“The Safripol donation has made a huge difference, as it assists us to help collectors beyond our annual collection project support budget.”
The bags were distributed throughout South Africa, aligning with PETCO’s equipment support strategy and reflecting the importance of PETCO’s support for grassroots recycling efforts. Booker said that while the effect of bulk bags may seem inconsequential to some consumers, to collectors on the ground they were a massive help.
Any drive keeping plastic pollution out of the environment is a good thing
“This donation helps us live up to our ongoing promise of supporting and uplifting PET collectors and our members in the simplest way possible – by allowing the bulk bag recipients to easily store collected recyclable materials.”
Recipient Menzi Bhengu, of M&S Green Solutions in Pinetown, said: “We were desperate to find a way to store our recyclables and were delighted with the donation of 24 bags. PETCO and Safripol have made a huge difference to our operation.”
Mogomotsi Msumba, of WTCEWR Recycling in Soweto, said the donation of 20 bags made his role in recycling “a whole lot easier”.
“We always have a desperate need of bags in which to store collected items and this donation could not have come at a better time,” Msumba said.