Plastics recycling rate of 18% / Packaging, PE lead / Industry needs to be “more professional”
South Africa’s 193 plastics recyclers converted 228,057 t of waste and production scrap –
including 165,772 t of packaging – into new products in 2009, the Plastics Federation of South Africa (PFSA, Midrand) says in a report. The overall plastics recycling rate was 18.3%, with packaging well ahead of other applications, at 29%.
Among standard thermoplastics, the material with the best recycling rate was LDPE/LLDPE with nearly 41% of converted polymer (92,381 t) recycled. PET followed with 15% (33,870 t), HDPE with 16% (36,547 t), PP with 19% (43,000 t) and PVC with 7% (15,490 t). Engineering polymers showed the weakest recycling ratios, with PC weighing in at 383 t, PA at 747 t and ABS at 1,361 t.
As regards applications, film extrusion topped the list with a nearly 30% recycling rate, followed by injection moulding with 25%, pipe extrusion with half that at 12.5% and tapes and fibres with 10.9%. Rates for all other applications were in the single-digit range. Citing research carried out by Business Monitor International (BMI, London / UK; www.businessmonitor.com), PFSA shows that post-consumer waste, with 111,266 t, accounted for the majority of recyclable plastics wastes in 2009. Ex-factory waste accounted for 55,390 t, post-industrial waste for 39,870 t and in-house recycling for 2,480 t.
The federation stressed that South Africa’s recyclers need to become more professional in their approach to the national government, to ensure that their contributions to the long-term plan for industry are taken seriously. While the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) has made a difference since its inception in 2008, it “is constrained by a lack of resources.” PFSA added that SAPRO should encourage more plastics recyclers to join the association so as to become more representative of the local recycling industry.
Source : www.plasteurope.com