The noteworthy contributions of individuals, companies and organisations to the recycling of post-consumer Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) in South Africa during the course of 2015 were recognised and celebrated at PETCO’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). The prestigious awards ceremony took place at the Venue Green Park in Sandton, on 21 July 2016.
“At PETCO, we believe that our greatest asset is our network of partners – those that give up their free time and work long hours, to get the job done,” says PETCO CEO, Cheri Scholtz. “As such, we are delighted to be able to recognise the significant efforts made by our 13 worthy award winners towards the recycling of post-consumer PET in South Africa.”
The PETCO awards were initially established to recognise those individuals and companies that contribute significantly to advancing PET recycling, whilst reflecting the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility and circular economy-thinking in their practices. This year’s awards, which formed part of the company’s 11th AGM, confirmed that a significant milestone had been reached in 2015.
In its latest results for 2015, PETCO reports that the organisation recycled an additional 15% of post-consumer bottles in comparison to the previous year, with the total PET market growing by 8.5% to 210 000 tonnes. An annual PET recycling rate of 52% of post-consumer bottle PET was achieved and, for the first time, PETCO recycled more bottles than those going into landfill.
Scholtz continues: “This is an extremely proud accomplishment for PETCO, but we could not have achieved this without the people, companies and organisations we work with that have made remarkable contributions to the recycling of post-consumer PET in South Africa.”
The 2016 PETCO awards acknowledged a wide range of achievements, from recognising products that have been designed with recycling in mind, to the best product using recycled PET (or rPET), to the best female entrepreneur within the PET value chain, whose perseverance has created and sustained a successful, growing business venture in PET collection or recycling.
Three of the categories boasted more than one winner.
Explains Scholtz, “We were so impressed with our nominees this year that, in some instances, choosing between them for a clear winner was impossible. Instead we chose to highlight all the nominees as, besides their contributions to PET recycling, they all work tirelessly to uplift the communities within which they operate – which we believe is worth celebrating.”
The key role that government plays within the PET recycling sector was specifically highlighted through the PET Recycling Local Authority Initiative award.
“PETCO recognises the important role that government and its municipalities have to play in providing an enabling regulatory environment for effective waste management. We applaud Lephalale Municipality for their exemplary quality of service delivery around waste management and recycling, and believe their efforts can be used as a model for other municipalities to follow,” adds Scholtz.
The 2016 PETCO Award winners are:
• Best Recycling Information, Awareness and Education Programme, Gregory Player from Clean C, Cape Town;
• Best Product using recycled PET (rPET), Woolworths Holdings Limited;
• Best Product that has been ‘Designed for Recycling’, Coca-Cola Southern Africa;
• PETCO Recycling Champion, Kimberley Recycling (Kimberley);
• PET Community Outreach and Upliftment award, shared by K1 Recycling (Katlehong), WasteWant (Elsies River, Cape Town), and the PEACE Foundation (Polokwane);
• Woman PET-trepreneur, shared by Megan Leach from Envirowaste Recyclers (Welkom), and Nomlindelo ‘Pinky’ Modisang from Lindithando Construction & Projects (Walkerville);
• PET-trepreneur, shared by Gcina Makhoba from Mpilenhle Recycling (Mpilenhle), and Brian Masemola from Boremako Recycling (Pretoria);
• PET Recycling Local Authority Initiative, Lephalale Municipality, Lephalale; and
• PETCO’s Small- Medium-sized Business Champion, Cannibal Recycling, Port Elizabeth.
“PETCO believes the future of South Africa will be shaped by individuals such as these who have received awards here today; passionate, committed people who are led by intuition and fed by imagination as they re-write the rules, whilst creating a better South Africa for us all,” concludes Scholtz.