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Propak Africa 2019 embraces sustainability

This year sustainability was a golden thread throughout Propak Africa 2019, with many exhibitors embracing good environmental practices, showing that the industry is aware of its responsibility in this regard.

Day two of the show was also dedicated to sustainability, while the Packaging SA Sustainability Pavilion run for the duration of the show.

The show, which ran over four days at the Expo Centre in Nasrec, Johannesburg, in March featured over 600 exhibitors showcasing packaging, food processing, plastics, printing and labelling products and services.

Focus on recycling

In terms of sustainability, recycling was a big focus for exhibitors.

There has been a massive pick up in recycling since the last Propak Africa says Candice Toi, GM of Relloi. “The ‘go green’ concept is coming through very strongly at this year’s show – in fact, we sold a recycling machine to a company in Botswana at the show.”

She adds that there is real buy-in, especially to taking care of in-house waste. “Currently we have 135 of our recycling machines at various businesses in the country. This allows them to recycle their in-house waste which they then reuse to manufacture another product. Everything is reused!”

Like Relloi, many exhibitors bore testimony to the growth of recycling, as they sold machines off their stands over the four days of the show. One of the companies that also sold a machine off their stand is Hestico, which hosted a full recycling line on their stand. “Recycling is on the top of everyone’s list this year and having the full line on the stand we were able to demonstrate what these machines can do,” says MD, Juanita Brits.

Many ways to save the planet

Trempak, a one-stop flexible packaging supplier, printed and unprinted and Didget, a digitally printing company, shared a stand. Sustainability is a key business value for them. “There are many ways to save the planet. It’s all about how to do the right thing – not just doing the right thing,” says Graham Finkel, MD, Trempak.

This, he explains extends from how to reduce the amount of plastic to making it recyclable and composable for the environment, while still ensuring the safety and longevity of the food stuff packaged in their products. “We examine each product on its own to figure out how we can accomplish this.”

On the digital printing side, Didget created 100 designs for the show in one month. “The only waste when it came to printing, was 10m at the very start of the job,” he says.

Ipex Machinery, MD, Bruce Allen, also commented on the noticeable increase in interest on the machines they manufacture for recycling, while Fujifilm SA’s Gareth Vaughan, product manager for packaging, adds that they showcased products that are environmentally friendly and that these were a highlight for visitors.

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