South Africans could make a big difference to the environment if they recycle paper in their households. Recycling paper, including cardboard, old newspapers, magazines or schoolbooks is a simple process that will go a long way to reducing the impact on landfill sites, creating jobs and reusing items that are simple to recycle.
In fact, recycling should play a big part of your 2012 New Year’s resolutions.
“In order to make recycling as efficient and effective as possible, it is extremely important that as many people as possible participate in recycling programmes,” says John Hunt, MD of Mpact Recycling (formerly Mondi Recycling).
Hunt adds that as a nation we’re lagging behind, with South Africans recycling a total of 58% of recyclable paper annually in comparison to Australia, where 75% of recyclable paper is recycled.
“The local recycling industry aims to increase this to 61% over the next five years,” says Hunt. “But this will only happen if many more South African households start to participate.”
There are many reasons to recycle; the most important being:
Finally, recycling is the right thing to do – it just makes sense.
Mpact Recycling is South Africa’s largest paper recycler, with seven of its own operations in major centres around the country and 42 buy-back centres (a place where people bring waste for collection). It also supports 67 independent dealers throughout the country.
“We recover approximately 450 000 tonnes of paper each year,” says Hunt. “But we would obviously like to increase this by many more tonnes over the next few years with your help!”
“Many people say that they don’t even know where to start recycling from home,” says Hunt. “The process is fairly simple when you know how. The very first thing is to understand what papers can be recycled and what can’t.”
Here are some useful “do’s” and “don’ts” to remember when separating your recycling products:
Old memos / letters
Used photocopy paper
Pale coloured paper (invoices, etc.)
Polystyrene or paper cups and plates
Sweet / chip wrappers
Organic material (such as old food and vegetables)
Tissues and paper towels
Post-it notes (these are not recyclable because of the glues used to make them)
Waxed cartons (such as frozen fish boxes)
“Unfortunately, often, when people put the incorrect materials into recycling containers, these items need to be manually separated out, which is very expensive and time consuming,” warns Hunt. “In addition, these items end up in a landfill, which defeats the purpose of separating.”
“Once the separating rules are clear, the next confusion is that many people just don’t know where to take their recycled material,” says Hunt.
There are recycling bins in place at nearly all retailers, local churches or school. Just look out for them.
“If there are programmes already in your community, please support them. If not, contact Mpact Recycling at email@example.com and we will assist you in getting them there – we’ll help to make recycling simple for you!” states Hunt.
Do your bit in the New Year and start to recycle.
Mpact is a leading southern African paper and plastics packaging group with revenues of R6.2bn in 2011. Mpact employs 3,500 people at 29 sites, of which 22 are manufacturing sites. Mpact earns approximately 10% of its sales outside of South Africa. It also has plants in Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Mpact has the number one market position in corrugated packaging, recycled-based cartonboard and containerboard, recovered paper collection, PET preforms, styrene trays and plastic jumbo bins. These accounted for approximately 90% of its revenue in 2011.
FTI Consulting – Strategic Communications
Lianne Osterberger +27 (0) 11 214 2414 / +27 (0)83 27 27 313
Chloe Webb +27 (0) 11 214 2421 / +27 (0)83 305 0144
Communications Manager, Mpact +27 (0) 11 994 5500 / +27 (0)76 650 4155