Recycling ‘creating jobs’ in South Africa

7 July 2011

An sizeable increase in countywide recycling has led to significant job creation and economic growth, says the South African Plastic Recycling Organisation (Sapro).

“Recycling a ton of waste has twice the economic impact of burying it in the ground,” Sapro said in a statement on Monday.

A survey done by Sapro and the SA Plastics Federation revealed there was a 32 percent increase in the tons of plastic recycled from 2006 to 2009.

Recycling one additional ton of waste would pay R1 095 per ton more in salaries, produce R4 905 more in goods and services, and generate R1.3-million more in sales than disposing of it in a landfill.

35 000 indirect jobs

The survey showed that 48.8 percent of all recyclable materials were obtained from “post-consumer sources” such as landfills.

During those four years of the survey 28.9 percent of all plastic packaging was recycled. This meant 165 772 tons of packaging were recycled.

There were between 200 and 220 plastics recycling manufacturers in SA. These companies employ 4 800 people and also create 35 000 indirect jobs that have an annual payroll of R250-million, Sapro said.

General Manager for Sapro Annabe Pretorius said the most significant impacts of plastic recycling were job creation, the reduction of carbon footprints and the re-use of non-renewable resources.

“Without this industry there would be more than 35 000 employees who would not have work and the industry is growing steadily with more and more manufacturers being created, which is creating more jobs.”

Pretorius said consumers, recyclers and the industry as a whole have a huge role to play in helping the recycling statistics to increase.

The survey showed that the number of environmentally conscious public was increasing and people were keen to get involved in some form of recycling products.

Sapa