Less than 10 weeks before 2016 and I got stuck somewhere between Easter and the winter… Despite the weeks rushing by, the Boks losing, the Lions winning and the incredible heat, recycling is still happening; new recyclers start and others sell. What have SAPRO been up to?
The next meeting is on the 4th of November in Gauteng – starting at 13:00. It is also our AGM where we have the opportunity to elect a new Board of Directors. The current guys/girls looking after the interests of the recycling industry are (in alphabetical order):
- Chandru Wadhwani – Extrupet
- Deenadayalan Moodley – AJ Polycycling
- Douglas Greig – Tuffy Manufacturing
- Fred Cheetham – Atlantic Plastic Recycling
- Jaco Breytenbach – Transpaco Recycling (Chairman)
- Johann Conradie – MyPlas
- Peter Waldburger – Tufflex Materials (Vice-Chairman)
- Rudi Johannes – Polymark
- Shelley Harris – Enviroserv
- Willie Jacobs – Re-think Recycling
Best Recycled Product Competition
The gala dinner took place on the 18th of September at the Spier Estate near Stellenbosch. Only 210 guests attended the evening (versus the 310 in Gauteng in 2013) but everyone had lots of fun. Marc Lottering had us in stitches about his life in Kalk Bay and how he was confused with Solly Philander.
The silver winners in the various categories were:
- 100% recycled content: Addis 68 litre tote, Gundle API Anti-termite membrane, Tuffy’s Checkers bags
- Mixed materials: Aruba greenlight concrete
- Novelties and artistic products: Afripack and Ningizimu carrier bags
- Recycled content: VW/Venture wheel lining
The gold winners were:
- Novelties and artistic products: Eyako Conference bags
- Recycled content: City of Cpt / MPC wheelie bin
- Mixed materials: Trogtek cattle trough
- 100% recycled content: Lavaplastic woven fencing
And the overall winner of the SAPRO Best Recycled Product Trophy was…
The Fifty/50 Wheelie Bin. The City of Cape Town went to town to write a specification for 240 litre wheelie bins that contain 50% end-of-life wheelie bins.
If you would like to see more photographs, go to https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xr37ae7yhhnrpsb/AACH7s6pAJq3n5h-Clh49ocQa?dl=0 for more pictures.
A very special thanks once again to all our platinum, gold and silver sponsors! They were:
- Platinum – Erema, Plastics|SA and Starlinger.
- Gold – Engen, Extrupet and Polyco.
- Silver – Bobsa/Rizberg Machinery, Packaging SA, Polyoak, PSPC, Re-ethical, Safripol, Summit Publishing, Transpaco Recycling, Tuffy and Zerma.
- Other – Adex Plastics & Machinery cc, Lanco Mouldings and Supreme Mouldings.
CaCO3 filled materials and recyclability
As more and more products find it difficult to compete with imported products of lesser quality, converters are starting to add fillers to their polyolefins. Fillers, and specifically CaCO3 is much cheaper than polymer. Anything more than 6% causes the density to go above 1 g/cm3 – which basically means that the product will sink in water. Or even more simply put – when you recycle the end-of-life product, the flakes will sink in your LD, HD or PP settling tank.
SAPRO published a position paper on Filled Polyolefins which is available to distribute to anyone that needs to know about this. We have also started to talk to retailers to bring it under their attention. If you need a copy of the document, let me know and I will forward it to you. There is also another very interactive and comprehensive document on the Recyclability of Packaging on the Packaging SA website – http://www.packagingsa.co.za/
NEMA – Pricing strategy
SAPRO submitted some comments and is waiting together with all the other stakeholders for feedback from the Department of Environmental Affairs. Apparently the final implementation guide is with the DEA Minister to be signed and published.
NEMA – Waste Act
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) published yet another Amendment to the Waste Act on the 13th of October2015 – http://sawic.environment.gov.za/documents/4809.pdf to which we can comment for 30 days. It sounds like the major changes are with the financial provisions to pay for waste, the Waste Bureau and the definitions of waste and the waste activities for which you need to have a Waste License. I have not yet read it! If you have a bored moment, please have a look at the Waste Act – it is a major document in anyone’s life that make a living from recycling.
A notice of intent was published at the end of July to invite the Paper and Packaging Industry to prepare and submit an industry waste management plan. The time to comment was extended.
Plastics|SA and all its member organisations have set a target of Zero Plastics to Landfill by 2030. This will not be realised with mechanical recycling only. What are the other options and possibilities within a South African context. SAPRO is supporting the concept of other recycling methods. Plastics|SA, the CSIR and the DST are funding some post-graduate student research in the following topics to gather more information on the possibilities.
- Masters Student: Identify and develop technology solutions for “problematic” plastic waste streams – these could be multi-layers, tubs and trays and blends, alloys and compounds.
- Doctoral Students: Identify and develop technology solutions for plastic waste streams. The focus of the student’s research will be on (to be refined with the student and supervisor):
- Evaluating the radius of economically viable transport of collected packaging recyclables across South Africa from source to existing nodes of packaging waste reprocessing (under existing logistics models and infrastructure)
- Evaluating the radius of economically viable transport of collected packaging recyclables within South Africa from source to existing nodes of packaging waste reprocessing (when “subsidized” through symbiotic relationships with the organic waste to biofuel sector, i.e. renewable fuel as the foundation of a packaging waste transport system(s))
- Compared to establishing modular e.g. waste-to-energy facilities in smaller towns and cities where transport costs may prohibit a viable local packaging waste collection / recycling system.
The underlying objectives include a contribution towards the increase in the number and quality of South African postgraduate students in the field of integrated waste management, and to build a pipeline of the next generation of skilled scientists and researchers in South Africa. We are often so short-term focused that we don’t actually know where we want to go.
As the interest increases in the recycling of electronic waste and white goods, the availability of electronic plastics increases. These would typically be ABS, ABS/PC and PS, some flame retardant and some not. I am not aware of anyone that can successfully recycle and sell the recycled materials. This could be an opportunity for the recycling and product development of these materials. The only hiccup that I am aware of is the UV stability – i.e. if the product will be used indoors, there should be no problem to manufacture recycled content products made from electronic plastics. Of course, the materials need to be separated properly whilst still in one big piece with the material identification code visible. These materials don’t want to be mixed.
I am also hearing from more and more of you about the challenges separating films as the multi-layer films look more and more like clean PP or clean PE-LD films – crisp or clear… The sorting is obviously a challenge. Just look at an incoming bale at a PE-LD smokey recycler the other day and could spot at least 10 to 20% “other” films in the bale. This was varying from mix and colour LDPE, PP films, metallised PP films, PVC films and a multitude of multi-layered films. One or other way, we will have to educate the pickers and primary collectors in identifying the non-recyclables. Probably another business opportunity – find a market for post-consumer multi-layers.
…and these are just some of the challenges of plastics recycling!!
We have received a couple of membership applications that will be dealt with at the next committee meeting. Apologies for taking so long to get back to you. At least your first year fees would be less now.
If you are not a SAPRO member – why not? Don’t you think that you should join the one and only plastics recycling industry body? Drop me a line and I will forward you the application forms.