On Tuesday, 18 July, Boxmore Packaging and PETCO, the organisation responsible for fulfilling the South African PET plastic industry’s role of Extended Producer Responsibility, partnered to sponsor and handover waste recycling trolleys to five local PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) collectors in the Somerset West community.
In collaboration with WasteWant Management Services, PETCO and Boxmore have identified five beneficiaries for the trolleys who will sell their PET to WasteWant Management Services. This arrangement will allow the waste pickers’ progress to be tracked, and their need for assistance to be monitored. Those involved in this initiative are committed to helping these individuals reach their full earning potential, and to stimulate awareness around the importance of recycling.
WasteWant is a waste management business that specialises in waste minimisation that works towards zero to waste landfill. Luther Müller, WasteWant: New Business Development and Marketing shared, “the company is strongly positioned to address the challenges and opportunities of both waste management and recycling. Our approach is pragmatic; balancing awareness, education and job creation for people in underprivileged communities. Furthermore, our waste reduction, waste management and recycling interventions are designed to empower communities and organisations to participate in preserving the environment for future generations.”
Boxmore’s Somerset West Factory Manager, Zaynul Mohamed also commented on the project, “Our company not only aims to inspire and uplift people in our workplace, but also within the communities that we operate. We have a great respect for the environment and try to influence our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to do the same. Driving recycling through job creation in this community is a win–win scenario that I’m proud to be associated with.”
Added PETCO CEO Cheri Scholtz, “We are delighted to be involved in such an important project as we believe small and micro-collectors play a crucial role in growing recycling tonnages in South Africa. Thanks to their hard work, alongside that of the remarkable network of dedicated people and companies we work with, 2 billion PET bottles were collected for recycling across South Africa during the course of 2016, growing the annual recycling rate from 52% of post-consumer bottle PET in 2015 to 55%.”
Boxmore is a founding member of PETCO with its Chief Commercial Officer, David Drew, an active board member. He explained, “Apart from this investment being the right thing to do, our industry cannot ignore the mounting necessity to encourage and educate South Africans about recycling. We are confident that these beneficiaries have all the support to further develop this small business opportunity into something that will both grow in size and income.”
An additional ten trolleys have been donated across two other communities (Harrismith and Samrand) where Boxmore branches are based.