SA losing tons of recyclable plastic to China

2013-11-01 15:41
(Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

(Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

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Cape Town - South Africa is losing tons of recyclable plastic to China every year, reports say.

According to Plastics SA director, Anton Hanekom, the export of plastic to China has undergone a 51% increase from 9 758 to 14 744 tons annually.

Hanekom says the increase has been huge and highlights a trend.

“Some of the materials are not recycled locally because they cannot be recycled economically,” he told News24.

“Most of our plastic goes to landfills where it is collected by waste pickers, but it becomes contaminated and cannot be used.”

Business Day reports that South Africa is recycling just over half of its goal of 40% of all plastics, with much being exported to China.

Plastics SA is currently driving a "zero plastics to landfills" initiative.

A two-bag system is envisaged whereby separation of plastics will occur at the source (eg homes) and plastics will be processed at a recovering facility.

The roll-out of the system is set to begin in 2014 and will continue through 2016.
Read more on:    china  |  south africa  |  recycling  |  environment
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