Opening of a new recycled PET plant by Mpact brings SA a step closer to closing the loop in bottle-grade recycling
Johannesburg, 10 May 2016 - Earlier today, Minister of Environmental Affairs Ms. Edna Molewa officially unveiled Mpact Polymers in Wadeville, Germiston. The new bottle-to-bottle facility will produce recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), which is the recycled raw material used for the manufacturing of new PET bottles from previously used PET bottles. rPET is a substitute for virgin PET, which is derived from crude oil.
The operation enjoys the backing of the departments of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Trade and Industry (DTI) and Economic Development (EDD) in promoting job creation, reducing waste to landfill and improving rPET production that will ultimately help to reduce the carbon footprint of the food and beverage industry.
Mpact Polymers will process 29,000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles diverted from landfills each year, to produce 21,000 tonnes of rPET for food and beverage packaging. An estimated 186,000m³ of landfill space will be saved annually as a result, while CO2 emissions will be reduced by approximately 53,000 tonnes each year.
The opening of Mpact Polymers comes at a time when collection and recycling of plastic PET bottles is on the rise in South Africa. According to industry body PETCO, post-consumer PET collection and recycling grew from 16% in 2004 to 52% in 2015 (9,840 tonnes to 73,710 tonnes respectively). PETCO targets to collect and recycle a landmark 70% by 2022. Currently, 68% of all PET material (virgin and recycled) is processed into PET bottles and these are primarily used by the beverage industry.
Commenting on behalf of Mpact, Group CEO, Mr Bruce Strong said, “Today is a reflection of partnerships that work in both the public and private sectors. Together with our industry partners,
Mpact Polymers also reflects the importance of our government’s manufacturing incentive programmes, which we hope will be granted a greater proportion of the national budget in future, considering the importance to manufacturing in South Africa. The rPET facility has been granted a Section 12i tax allowance incentive through the DTI, while the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has supported its development through a minority shareholding and debt funding.”
Echoing Minister Molewa’s remarks, Mzwandile Masina, Deputy Minister of the DTI, noted that the new plant brought important benefits in terms of job creation. “As government, we are proud to have contributed to the sustainability of the project through the approval of Mpact Polymers as a Greenfield project for the Section 12i tax allowance incentive. We further acknowledge that income opportunities will be created through an estimated 1,000 jobs, as there will be greater demand for collectors, small businesses and buy-back centres - which will assist Mpact in reaching their collection targets.” Mpact will create direct permanent jobs here in Wadeville Ekurhuleni and a number of indirect jobs throughout the country.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which provided a R210m loan facility as well as R30-million for its 21% equity stake in Mpact Polymers, wants to find new ideas to real world problems. Says chief executive, Geoffrey Qhena, “The enhancement of skills transfer as well as the development of entrepreneurship and promotion of growth within the SMME sector fuels further optimism.”
Alan Clark, CEO of SABMiller says that this facility is directly in line with SABMiller’s Prosper sustainability framework to create value by reducing waste and carbon emissions. “This initiative clearly supports and advances our aspiration for a clean world where nothing goes to waste. By dealing decisively with South Africa’s major concern on the collection and recycling of used PET bottles that usually end up in landfill, we are ensuring that we leave a more desirable environmental legacy for generations to come.”
“Mpact has a long and proud history. Our oldest manufacturing facility has been in operation for nearly 100 years, while we have been recycling in South Africa for over 40 years. We are committed to growth in South Africa and elsewhere. Our entry into PET recycling demonstrates how, through enduring partnerships and collaboration, we can contribute to inclusive, job-rich growth while enhancing manufacturing competitiveness,” concludes Strong.
Mpact is one of the leading paper and plastics packaging businesses in southern Africa, listed on the JSE’s Main Board in the Industrial – Paper and Packaging sector. The Group has leading market positions in southern Africa in recovered paper collection, corrugated packaging, recycled-based cartonboard and containerboard, polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) preforms, recycled PET, styrene trays and plastic jumbo bins. These leading market positions allow Mpact to meet the increasing requirements of its customers, and to achieve economies of scale and cost effectiveness at the various operations.
Mpact has 33 operating sites, of which 23 are manufacturing operations, in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe. South African-based customers accounted for approximately 90% of Mpact’s sales for the current year, with the balance of sales predominantly to customers in the rest of Africa.
As at 31 December 2015 Mpact employed 4,467 people.
About ABI Bottling (Pty) Ltd
ABI Bottling (Pty) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of SAB (Pty) Ltd and is a bottling partner of
Furthermore, ABI Bottling (Pty) Ltd is committed to producing and selling its products in a responsible manner to minimise its impact on the environment.
For more information visit www.abi.co.za
PETCO (the PET Plastic Recycling Company) represents the South African PET Plastic Industry’s combined effort to self-regulate post-consumer PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) recycling. Formed in 2004 as an industry-driven and financed environmental solution for PET, PETCO is responsible for managing the PET industry's extended producer responsibility (EPR) in South Africa. The company’s mission is to grow the collection and recycling of PET bottles after consumer use. They are funded by a voluntary recycling levy paid by industry (on PET resin purchased) and grants from brand owners and resin producers.
PETCO is extremely proud to have closed the loop in South Africa, and believe that this is where the future growth potential exists.