Circular recycling solutions provide a path to keeping plastic products out of our natural environments for good.
Summary of Washington Post article dated 7th January 2019.
In the center of the Pacific Ocean, weighing more than 87,000 tons, is an amorphous vortex of trash known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. First discovered in the mid-1990s, it expands each year, collecting new pieces and particles. It’s just one striking example of how the world is experiencing a direct threat from excess consumer waste, demonstrating the urgent need for sustainable solutions.
Finding those solutions is the focus of The
These diverse programs provide valuable lessons that can be applied around the world. Ultimately, The
South Africa Provides a Vision of Sustainability
Since South Africa’s opening to the global trade market in the 1990s, the country has rapidly become one of the major economic forces in Africa. Along with this growth has come an increase in plastic waste and a need for a more sustainable recycling infrastructure. PETCO, the national voluntary extended producer responsibility company that supports and promotes PET recycling, has helped moved the country forward in this regard.
“One of the keys to South Africa’s success,” said Casper Durandt, head of sustainable packaging and agriculture for the
PETCO now has a total of 11 recycling partners across South Africa. These recyclers produce food-grade PET from recycled bottles in three state-of-the-art, bottle-to-bottle recycling plants. The
Durandt believes so strongly in this model that he is currently focused on expanding the program throughout Africa with The
In June of this year, PETCO Kenya introduced a series of PET collection initiatives. Given these successes, there is plenty of reason to believe that this system can be replicated throughout Africa—and in many other countries around the world.
Putting Circular Solutions into Action
Sustainability and closed loop cycles must now become a global priority, from emerging nations to the world’s largest economies. Companies at the forefront of sustainability are thinking creatively to address this growing concern. If the success of innovative closed loop circular systems in Estonia, Australia, South Africa, Mexico and the United States are any indication, no country or market is too small, large, or even remote to adapt more sustainable recycling models based on the unique socioeconomic factors and governmental policies in each region. These solutions ultimately help create a closed-loop system that benefits the environment, serves communities and begins the path to solutions for this generation. As each of these examples demonstrates, these goals do not have to be mutually exclusive.