The past few months have seen a trend of increased consumer interest in the impact of food and beverage packaging. Across global social media platforms there has been widespread discussion regarding the environmental effects of single use packaging, with many brands, retailers and restaurants joining the debate.
It is certainly about time that users of packaging, give more thought to the impact of each bottle, jar, bag, container or carton we use.
Speaking at The Glass Recycling Company’s (TGRC)’s 5th Annual Green Dialogues event, the CEO, Shabeer Jhetam, announced the glass recycling rate has increased to 41.5% in South Africa. This new statistic demonstrates continuous growth in the waste that is successfully directed away from landfill sites.
As of July 1, 2018, The City of Joburg, will enforce mandatory recycling, this is expected to increase the glass directed away from landfills in the future, however more municipalities should also adopt this practice to have a more significant impact.
A little-known fact is that glass bottles and jars manufactured in South Africa, contain arguably the highest percentage of recycled content of all the packaging materials produced in our country (over 40%). The 5th Annual Green Dialogues demonstrated the progress that has been made by consumers, recyclers, and TGRC to increase the recycling rate in our country.
South Africa has one of the most progressive and efficient returnable bottle systems in the world. With this combination of highly effective reuse and recycling initiatives, it makes glass an obvious sustainable packaging choice for many consumers. Through the combination of increased recycling and SA’s efficient returnable system the diversion of glass from landfill increased to 82%. This means approximately 10 billion glass bottles were removed from the waste stream.
This year’s TGRC event illustrated that unlocking the power of partnerships, education and engagement as enablers, allows for the maximum impact. At the heart of the work done by TGRC, is a sincere desire to share this passion and ignite it in others. During the course of the past year TGRC trained and mentored 622 entrepreneurs with numerous development courses to assist in the development of their businesses. With an increased focus on the hospitality industry, over 120 newly onboarded businesses in the hospitality sector-initiated recycling programmes across the country over and above the 4 000 banks across the major metropoles. TGRC has also created opportunities for more than 50 000 individuals to earn a source of income through recycling since the not for profit’s inception.
“We need to continue celebrating the role that glass plays in our everyday lives and ensure that enough attention is given to sustainable packaging for our environment. Every individual plays a role in making our oceans and environment cleaner. Recycling saves valuable materials from our waste stream to make new products. By working together, we can continue to grow the glass recycling rate as well as the rate at which glass is diverted from landfill,” said Jhetam.
Jhetam also took the time to mention that the successes of the company would not be possible without the commitment of shareholders who package their goods in glass, the continued passion shown by schools, entrepreneurs, retailers and restaurants, as well as the never-ending passion of glass collectors. These stakeholders play a vital role in reducing waste pollution.
“The Glass Recycling Company considers it a privilege to have the opportunity to support and grow this green culture and we remain convinced that the country’s success in terms of recycling will continue to grow” Jhetam concluded.
Have a #Heart4Glass and find tips and advice regarding recycling by visiting our website http://www.tgrc.co.za/ or by liking TGRC on Facebook: or Twitter @TGRC.