Here's how to turn plastic waste into profit

04 February 2022 - 07:00
By GCIS VUK'UZENZELE
Image: 123RF/pavelrusak.

If you want to make money from waste and need expert advice or to connect with other waste collectors, PET Recycling Company (PETCO) is your go-to place.

The not-for-profit company represents the South African plastic industry’s efforts to have people manage polyethylene terephthalate (PET) waste, such as used plastic cooldrink bottles. The organisation operates throughout the country.

Spokesperson Junaid Francis says recycling stimulates the local economy and creates value in waste, which was previously not considered to have value. 

He adds that recycling provides jobs and livelihoods for people, especially the most destitute members of society.

PETCO supports recycling initiatives and activities, and these need not be at a large scale.

“Waste collectors do not have to be a member of PETCO in order to start recycling or apply for sponsorship of equipment and protective clothing, or to be able to attend training,” says Francis.

How to start recycling

You can also start recycling in your own home. “Plastic bottles are not trash. When recyclable materials, like PET, are sent to a landfill, they become completely useless. Keep them out of the waste stream by recycling them. Check for local organisations, schools and shopping centres that offer recycling,” he says.

You can start by getting storage bins for your home.

“Once you learn which materials your local drop-off centre accepts, set up a corresponding storage bin system. The garage, or your kitchen, is a good place to locate the bins,” says Francis.

Recently, PETCO launched a WhatsApp platform (060 070 2077) that provides responses to key questions around collection.

For more information contact Petco at 021 794 6300 (Cape Town), or 011 615 8875 (Johannesburg), or visit www.petco.co.za.

-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.

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