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Lots of room for businesses to push recycling and make a difference

13 September 2013

The South African recycling industry continues to face poor recovery rates of office paper an important raw material for manufacturers of paper and packaging. This shortage exists despite the vast quantities of office paper that is disposed of by businesses across the country.

This is according to Mpact, a leading player in the paper and plastic packaging industry.

“Nationally, recycling of paper from smaller businesses, offices and office parks is running at between 20% and 30% depending on the region. These businesses should consider recycling from a strategic perspective and how this contributes not only to their own sustainability efforts, but also to a more sustainable environment in South Africa,” says managing director of Mpact Recycling, John Hunt.

Hunt explains that recycling initiatives present businesses with an opportunity to contribute to the creation of environmentally sustainable practices and thereby their own “green” credentials.

“In addition to the environmental benefits of recycling, there is economic sense in driving recycling initiatives in businesses while increasing the total amount of paper recycled in South Africa,” says Hunt.

Recycling activities currently provide jobs for around 100 000 people, an estimated 30 000 of which are involved in the recycling of paper.

As part of Mpact Recycling’s awareness drive to promote the sustainable use of resources leading up to Clean Up Week 2013, companies are encouraged to make recycling routine to the way business is done.

“Just like recycling at home, the easiest way to start recycling at the workplace is with paper as it is usually used in the largest quantity,” says Hunt.

However, depending on the nature of the workplace other recyclable items can also be found. Offices can consider recycling the following items:

  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Cardboard boxes (e.g. packaging boxes)
  • Waste paper, including printed paper, unwanted files and notepads, used envelopes

Recycled paper is an important component in the manufacture of paper-based packaging products. Mpact uses 70% of the recycled paper it collects in its paper manufacturing division.

Mpact Recycling, a division of Mpact Limited, currently has a 45% share of the South African paper recycling market and each year collects in excess of 457 000 tons of recovered paper.

During Clean Up Week 2013, which runs from 16 to 21 September, all South Africans, including businesses, are urged to do something towards increasing recycling rates.

To organise office collection for used paper, businesses can contact Mpact Recycling. Depending on the size of the company and other requirements Mpact Recycling will either collect the used paper or direct the enquirer to the closest drop-off point.

For large companies that are paper intensive, bins and bags will be provided and collected by Mpact Recycling. Mpact Recycling also offers a confidential shredding service.

If you would like your workplace to become involved in recycling paper you can call the following toll-free number: 0800 022 112

Notes to editors

Mpact is a leading manufacturer of paper and plastics packaging in Southern Africa. The Paper business is integrated across the recycled paper-based corrugated packaging value chain and comprises three divisions being Recycling, Paper Manufacturing and Corrugated. The Plastics business manufactures rigid plastic packaging for the food, beverage, personal care, home care, pharmaceutical, agricultural and retail markets. Products include PET preforms, bottles and jars; plastic jumbo bins, wheelie bins, and crates; plastic containers for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market; styrene and PET trays, fast food containers and clear plastic films. The Group employs 3,760 people in 32 operations in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Issued by:

FTI Consulting – Strategic Communications
Kgomotso Moalusi +27 (0) 11 214 2413 / +27 (0)76 941 2902

On behalf of:

Mpact Limited
Deborah Chapman
Communications Manager, Mpact +27 (0) 11 994 5500 / +27 (0)76 650 4155

Source: MPACT