Media releases

Businesses urged to step up paper recycling efforts to help economy, environment

14 September 2012

South African businesses are being urged to step up their paper recycling efforts as part of Recycling Day on Friday, 14th September.

“We are starting to see a culture of recycling paper, but offices still represent a small percentage of the waste paper we collect. With this in mind, we are actively targeting businesses, urging them to participate in recycling programmes, with all the benefits these bring,” says John Hunt, managing director of Mpact Recycling.

In 2011, 59% of all used paper was recycled in South Africa. However, the majority of this comes from newspaper printers, box makers, supermarket chains and industry. According to the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA) only around 8% of this is recovered office paper. This figure is slightly below international trends with the collection rate for offices in Europe at 10% according to the European Recovered Paper Council.

“There are many environmental benefits to recycling,” says Hunt. “Not only are greenhouse gas emissions reduced but recycling also lessens the impact on already pressured landfill sites since the need for landfilling is avoided.”

However, perhaps even more important, is the economic activity generated in collecting and processing recovered paper.

The recycling industry creates opportunities for small, medium and micro enterprises through its recycle collection programmes and is a major contributor to job growth in this country. It is estimated that 100,000 people are employed in the recycling industry in South Africa, with around 30,000 of these involved in paper recycling alone.

Mpact Recycling, a division of the listed paper and plastics packaging company Mpact Limited, recovers over 450 000 tonnes of waste paper, about 45% of all paper recovered annually in South Africa.

To organise office collection for used paper, businesses can contact Mpact Recycling. Depending on size of the company and other requirements Mpact Recycling will either collect used paper or direct the enquirer to the closest drop-off point. For large companies that are paper intensive, bins and bags will be provided and collected by Mpact. Mpact Recycling also offers a confidential shredding service.

If you would like your workplace to become involved in recycling paper you can call the following toll-free number: 0800 022 112

Need more information?

To find out about collection initiatives in your neighbourhood, from home or at community depots, please call 0800 022 112 or email

For more information about National Recycling Day (14 September 2012), please visit:

For more information on Mpact Recycling please visit:

Contact details for Mpact:

Johannesburg: 011 538 8600
Cape Town: 021 931 5106
Durban: 031 274 6600
Richards Bay: 035 751 1722

Issued by:

FTI Consulting – Strategic Communications

Lianne Osterberger +27 (0) 11 214 2414 / +27 (0)83 27 27 313

Chloe Webb +27 (0) 11 214 2421 / +27 (0)83 305 0144

On behalf of:

Mpact Limited

Deborah Chapman Communications Manager, Mpact +27 (0) 11 994 5500 / +27 (0)76 650 4155

Notes to editors

Mpact is a leading southern African paper and plastics packaging group with revenues of R6.2bn in 2011. Mpact employs 3,700 people at 30 sites, of which 23 are manufacturing sites. Mpact earns approximately 10% of its sales outside of South Africa. It also has plants in Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Mpact has the number one market position in corrugated packaging, recycled-based cartonboard and containerboard, recovered paper collection, PET preforms, styrene trays and plastic jumbo bins. These accounted for approximately 90% of its revenue in 2011.

Source: Mpact