The sugar tax and lower demand from bottling firms continue to stifle Mpact’s plastics business, CEO Bruce Strong says. The plastics business’s poor showing in the year to December counteracts the improved performance of the firm’s paper unit, which has benefited from recent capital expenditure. The investments include the R800m expansion of the Felixton paper mill in KwaZulu-Natal. Mpact is a recycler of recovered paper and plastic collections and has operations in Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.

Speaking after the release of the company’s financial results, Strong said the plastics business, whose revenue fell 3% to R2.4bn, struggled because of the introduction of the sugar tax and bottling firm’s decision to produce their own bottles instead of buying them from Mpact. The sugar tax has affected sales of soft drinks. “Consumption patterns have changed as a result of the introduction of the sugar tax,” he said. The plastics business — which manufactures a range of packagin...

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