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Recyclers link to tackle Western Cape PET problem

The demand for bottled water in the Western Cape brought on by the water crisis has put a strain on recycling in the region as the local recycling capacity in the province is at maximum production and is unable to process the additional influx of bottles.

However, in order to prevent PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles needlessly ending up at landfills, three companies have joined forces to overcome the challenge.

Oasis Water, a Petco associate member, recycling experts Extrupet and Petco are transporting 15 metric tons of baled bottles to the Extrupet facility in Gauteng for processing in order to overcome the challenge and prevent these additional bottles having to be sent to landfills.

Petco is the recycling company specialising in the recycling of PET bottles and products.

Chandru Wadhwani, a joint managing director of Extrupet and Petco board member, said the pressing driver was to ensure the extra volume of PET bottles that had found their way to the Western Cape on the back of the water crisis found a home in a recycled product.

“Half a million bottles will now be recycled that otherwise wouldn’t have been. This, for me, is the ultimate value of this initiative. Oasis Water set the perfect example of what extended producer responsibility entails,” said Wadhwani.

Naas du Preez, a group director of Oasis Water, said that with the influx of bottled water into Cape Town, the company believed that, as a responsible brand, it must also assist, and had sponsored the transport as a sign of goodwill.

“We are challenging fellow bottlers and players in the industry to do the same and assist with keeping recycling responsible,” said Du Preez.

Petco has increased South African recycling rates in recent years, resulting in a PET bottle recycling rate of 55percent in 2016, which means more than 90 000 tons of PET, or 2 billion bottles, are being recycled each year.

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