At the CAIA Responsible Care® Initiative of the Year Awards held in Sandton on 24 October, Safripol was honoured to walk away with two prestigious awards this year. The first was for the top position as winner in the Responsible Care® Initiative of the Year Award – Corporate social responsibility – Category A for the entry: Community-led Waste Collection and Recycling. We then also took home our second award as first runner-up in the Company – Category A for the entry: Enabling Sustainability Through Circularity. Safripol was recognized for its efforts and commitment in accelerating the circular economy of plastics in the country and contributing to several sustainable development goals.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the Safripol team for their unwavering commitment in making our circular product portfolio a reality, which demonstrates we are taking active steps in walking the talk in our sustainability journey. Safripol would also like to thank its partners African Reclaimers Organisation (ARO), Petco, Isphepho, Green Corridors, and Tri-Ecomvelo for working tirelessly on the ground to make our community projects a success and to bring about social and environmental change at grass-roots levels.
In FY 2023, we partnered with various community-led waste collection projects to catalyse waste collection and recycling activities at a community level. Safripol supported ARO with waste collection infrastructure which included a mobile baler, trailer, generator, wheelie bins, and bulk bags. The partnership made a positive impact in expanding ARO’s separation at source (SAS) program in Gauteng and also increasing collection volumes in their remote sites in Mpumalanga. ARO’s SAS program reached close to 4 800 households, and just over 130 reclaimers benefitted, while 760 tons of materials was collected for use back in the recycling industry. Safripol also partnered with PETCO to capacitate 4 buy-back centres in the Vaal Triangle with waste collection infrastructure like trailers, trolleys, etc. Across all 4 centres just under 500 tons of material was collected last year supporting 38 waste reclaimers.
Safripol’s partnership with Isphepho for the school’s education and separation at source project in the Umlazi township in KwaZulu Natal, led to implementation of the program across 20 schools in Umlazi in 2022, reaching just under 3700 children. About 200 tons of recyclables were collected by the schools last year. We also provided ongoing support for the Green Corridors and Tri-Ecomvelo litter-boom project, which has now reached 17 sites across some of our most polluted river catchments areas in KwaZulu Natal. Over the past year, the project employed 23 local community members, and about 8 tons of ocean bound waste was diverted away from the marine environment for reuse back in the industry.
Through our various partnerships and initiatives, Safripol is making a positive impact in uplifting vulnerable communities throughout the country and reducing plastic leakage into the environment, while unlocking higher volumes of recycled plastic feedstock for reuse back in the industry.
Safripol took action in transitioning its product portfolio in FY 2023, by bringing to market its first bottle to bottle PET resin, containing post-consumer PET waste. Safripol commercialised 15 and 25, which is one bag solution of PET resin containing 15% and 25% post-consumer PET waste. The product has recycled content certification and food contact compliance approval. Furthermore, Safripol’s range exceeds the recycled content targets for PET beverage packaging of 15% by 2024, as mandated in the Extended producer responsibly (EPR) legislation.
Safripol’s recycled PET portfolio therefore gives plastic convertors the assurance of compliance with the EPR requirements, while providing a consistent high-quality product and the convenience of a single ready to use solution, without requiring mixing. Safripol invested R65m into the project and placed 10ktons of 15 onto the local market in our last financial year. This equates to 1500tons of waste PET bottles that was recovered and removed from our waste streams and reprocessed for use back in the circular economy.
By providing recyclers with long-term offtake for post-consumer waste PET for bottle-to-bottle applications, Safripol is creating a market pull for recycled content, enabling growth of the local recycling industry and creating much needed jobs in the informal sector.