About Us

The South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) represents the plastics re-processors in South Africa. Its members procure sorted, baled end-of-life plastics and re-process it into raw material. The recycled material can be used to manufacture new plastics products. South Africa is amongst the top recycling countries in the world.

The Organisation is funded by its members and assists recyclers in:

  • Building a recycling industry that is respected and acknowledged by government, industry and the public
  • Addressing collective challenges in a constructive way
  • Growing the industry and respective recycling initiatives and businesses in volume, technology and profitability
  • Presenting a united voice that influences external decision- making positively
  • Continuing to have a positive impact on the environment to preserve and protect resources

Did you know, in 2017 ….

  • South Africa recycled 334 727 tons of material into raw material, when compared to the recycling rate of 1 % in Europe, South Africa has an input recycling rate of 43.7 % [1] for all plastics.
  • According to Stats SA; 12,1 % of Metropolitan households do not have regular refuse removal as recorded in 2015 and 64 % of all households have formal waste management.
  • The largest quantity of recyclables, 74 %, was obtained from landfill and other post-consumer sources.
  • 60% of incoming materials was sourced as baled materials from the formal sector, collectors and waste management companies.
  • 12% originated from the same formal supply chain but consists of the larger components are were not baled. Although very critical to the value chain
  • 3 % of recyclables were sourced directly from waste pickers and walk-ins.
  • Plastics recycling sustained 5837 formal jobs in 2017 in the recycling factories.
  • It is estimated that 52 300 workers received an income through the supply chain, 700 more than in 2016 (These include self-employed waste pickers and employees of smaller entrepreneurial collectors).
  • Through the procurement of recyclables an estimated R 448 million was injected into the economy at primary sourcing level.
  • The most widely recycled material is still PE-LD and PE-LLD packaging films (34%), followed by PET beverage bottles which showed a steady increase over the last 4 years (22%), PE-HD bottles, drums and crates represent the third largest recycled polymer in 2017 (20%). The PP tonnages showed some growth (15%) and Flexible PVC gumboots, hoses and cable sheathing remains steady.
  • For the second year in a row, the recyclers had more recyclate than required by their immediate and existing customers. Only 5.5 % of the recycled raw material was exported as raw material to plastics convertors mainly to the neighbouring countries.
  • more than 210 bona fide recyclers have been identified operating in South Africa; 30 % of the recyclers convert 80 % of the tonnages. Among the recyclers surveyed in 2017, 50 % were at least granulating, washing and pelletising; 22 % were only granulating.

Note: All materials recycled or reprocessed in South Africa are expressed as a percentage of locally manufactured plastics products.

Source PlasticsSA