Published: Tuesday 30 September 1997

Whealth in water: recycling is (Credit: Leonard D/ Greenpeace)Recycling of waste has become a major source of income as well as a tool to protect the environment in South Africa. Figures from the World Resource Foundation and Packaging Council of South Africa ( pascsa ) show the country recycles nearly 38 per cent of its total annual consumption of paper and board. South Africa annually collects more than 6,50,000 tonne of recyclable waste paper and board.

Mondi Recycling, a division of Forest Products Group Mondi Limited, recovers the largest amount of paper in South Africa. The company offers financial assistance to industry, paper converters, entrepreneurs and hawkers for collecting recyclable waste.

The country has launched this war-on-waste campaign by setting up many recycling centres. The main objective of the campaign is to prevent recyclable material from being thrown in the waste stream destined for a landfill.
One of South Africa's leading can recovery company, Collect-a-Can, recovered nearly 1.4 billion used beverage cans which are sufficient to manufacture 1,00,000 motor vehicles or 20,000 buses.

As glass is 100 per cent recyclable, its recovery and recycling have always been a priority area for glass producers. The Glass Recycling Association established in South Africa employs various methods to recover the glass. Domestic recycling of glass has grown at a fast pace in the country following the introduction of the bottle banks. There are nearly 1,490 bottle banks located in 115 cities and towns throughout South Africa.

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