This month, we’re focusing on plastics. It’s Plastic-Free July and four of our staff members have taken up the challenge to rid their lives of single-use plastic.

We’ll be tracking their journey on our blog, and in the process put together some great-to-know facts about plastics.

Did you know?

According to Plastic Oceans:

  • 80 percent of pollution in the sea comes from the land.
  • Packaging is the largest end-use market segment for plastic, accounting for more than 40% of total plastic usage.
  • Annually, approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide.
  • More than one million bags are used every minute.
  • We use 8 billion single-use plastic shopping bags a year in South Africa.
  • Over the last 10 years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
  • Plastic accounts for around 10% of the total waste we generate.

Everything you need to know about recycling in South Africa

If you, like us, seem to have more questions than answers about plastic recycling, here is a wonderful resource for you.

These short and educational videos created by POLYCO, group of South African organisations and individuals that understands the plastic recycling process and its extended responsibility within our plastics industry.

Episode 1: Why do we recycle?

We have to recycle for three good reasons: To reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill sites; to reduce the pressure on natural resources; and to provide jobs through the recycling industry.

Episode 2: How to recycle in three easy steps

Recycling is easy and rewarding! Here’s everything you need to know about how to recycle. Paper, glass, tin and plastic (including polystyrene) can be recycled. Yes! You need to wash your waste before recycling. Yes! Remove caps and sleeves. If your municipality does not do curbside collections of recyclables, visit www.mywaste.co.za or www.polyco.co.za to find out where your closest drop-off point is.

Episode 3: Understanding recycling symbols 

Oy vey! Haven’t we all scrarched our heads over those little triangles and numbers at the bottom of plastic products?

Every number inside the triangle at the bottom of your plastic products refers to a different type of plastic. Recyclers group these types together before they are recycled. The good news? If it has a triangle, it can be recycled.

Episode 4: What can’t be recycled?

Sad but true: some things can’t be recycled. Soggy and wet or soiled paper products like used paper plates and greasy pizza boxes can’t be recycled, nor can paper with a wax layer or tissue paper.

The list of non-recyclables is unfortunately quite long: Please do familiarise yourself with this list in the video below. It really makes you think about how much we produce and consume that will never go away …

Episode 5: What’s made from recycled plastic? 

Recycling gives our plastic products new lives and multiple uses, ensuring that we get the most out of our natural resources (plastic is made from crude oil – a non-renewable energy source). From carpets to shoes, furniture to traffic cones, flower pots to photo frames – you’ll be amazed at how many aspects of your life contain recycled plastic.

Happy recycling! 

Let us know if you have any more questions about recycling and we'll find the answers for you. Please also take a moment to check out our enviromental campaigns - a few key issues we want to address in the fight against ocean pollution.  

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