When it comes to generating waste, SA is among the worst offenders, ranking 15th by volume globally, according to the World Bank. A key part of the solution to the 50Mt a year problem lies in recycling, a field in which SA excels in some areas but lags behind badly in others. The paper industry has shown what can be achieved, having last year recycled 70% of the 1.8Mt of waste-paper materials spewed out primarily by the consumer sector. It was a target set by the Paper Recycling Association of SA to be reached in 2020, with the 1.3Mt recycled being enough to fill 1,539 Olympic-sized swimming pools. "SA’s 70% recycling rate is similar to levels achieved in Europe," says John Hunt, MD of Mpact’s recycling division, which procures more than 660,000t annually for use in the group’s three carton-board mills. To move much beyond a 70% recycling rate is a big ask, says Hunt. The challenge is to collect more discarded paper material from households. "People know it’s the right thing to do b...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now