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Recycling and re-using packaging materials have been placed at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. Both brand owners and retailers are in a good position to assist with the cradle-to-cradle process. It is however, imperative to receive guidance from the packaging converters to understand the factors that facilitate recycling.
Being at the forefront of recycling for over 50 years, Mpact gives effect to a true circular economy, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. Through investments in state of the art equipment that allow us to produce, recycle and reproduce packaging items, Mpact advocates the responsible use of plastic and offer environmentally friendly packaging items to consumers.
What to look out for
We understand that sustainability starts with producing products that can be recycled and we therefore consider various parameters when designing packaging.
The packaging shape can yield benefits such as assist in the washing process during recycling. Wide necks that allow a container to fully decant and packaging that limits space required when discarded or transported, such as items that are able to nest or stack, are preferable.
Identifying the materials of all the components included in the pack, facilitates the manual separation process whilst an all-plastic pack is also more cost effective as foreign materials, such as alternative material components found in spout caps, closure liners, labels, handles and tamper evident seals are costly and difficult to remove during the recycling process.
Decorating options such as container colour, labelling or printing should also be considered. Clear, or non-pigmented packaging allows for the container to be recycled and used in a similar application whereas pigmented packaging is generally used for secondary products in black, as colour limits the secondary application. Labels should be designed to fully detach from the container without leaving residue and preferably be a plastic grade to keep separation cost at bay.
Consumer education and knowledge is key. Separating components before placing a container in a recycling bin or sorting the various plastic grades according to the recycling codes displayed on the packaging item can make a significant contribubtion to recycling and its cost.
Brand owners and consumers can make a valuable contribution to recycling by considering the packaging shape, material type, decorating options as well as educating fellow consumers in order to assist organisations such as Mpact, to drive recycling, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, and in doing so, providing hope for a brighter future for generations to come.
Mpact is the largest paper and plastics packaging and recycling business in Southern Africa with customers that include packaging converters, fruit producers, FMCG companies and other consumer and industrial packaging companies. Mpact’s integrated business model is uniquely focussed on closing the loop in plastic and paper packaging through recycling and beneficiation of recyclables. Mpact has 43 operating sites, 21 of which are manufacturing operations, located in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. Sales in South Africa accounted for approximately 87% of Mpact’s total revenue for the current period, while the balance was predominantly to customers in the rest of Africa. Mpact Operations (Pty) Ltd, the major subsidiary of the Group is a B-BBEE Level 1 contributor.