Nestlé has announced that it has become the first food and manufacturing company to join the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco), a not-for-profit industry body that focuses on reducing the amount of used polyolefin plastic packaging waste that went to landfill, and thrust plastic waste in the environment.
The organisation established in 2011 aimed to make waste a valuable resource that works for the economy by increasing the sustainable collection, recycling, recovery and beneficiation of polyolefin plastic packaging.
Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) corporate communications and public affairs director Saint-Francis Tohlang said sustainability challenges could not be addressed through a singular approach.
“As Nestlé in East and Southern Africa, we know that addressing sustainability challenges cannot be resolved without collaboration and it therefore becomes important to work with like-minded partners like Polyco. Being a leading food and beverage company in the world, we have drawn lessons from other markets that have successfully joined producer responsibility organisations in a way that has made a meaningful impact on collection and recycling initiatives. We are excited to join Polyco and hope our contribution can lead to increases in the recycling rate of polyolefin plastic,” said Tohlang.
This announcement yesterday dove-tailed with Nestlé’s recent launch of its RE sustainability initiative in South Africa aimed at reinforcing all its sustainability initiatives, strategies and resources to help mitigate sustainability challenges and strengthen its contribution to a waste-free future.
The initiative focuses on three key pillars to tackle the sustainability issues: Rethink, Reduce and Repurpose.
Under the proposed new extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation, as contemplated under section 18(1) of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008, planned for implementation by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment in November this year, where producers, through their producer responsibility organisations, would be mandated to manage their products at end-of-life in order to grow the downstream reuse and recycling of these materials to achieve agreed legislated targets.
Polyco chief executive Mandy Naudé said Nestlé had shown their commitment to extended producer responsibility making them (Polyco) delighted to have them join the organisation as their very first brand owner member.
“Brand owners are key stakeholders within the packaging and recycling value chain as they are the decision-makers for the packaging that is placed on the market and which ultimately either gets collected for recycling or ends up in the environment.
We are excited to further our impact in growing the collection and recycling of polyolefin plastic packaging in South Africa, and to work closely with our members to support ending plastic waste in the environment,” said Naudé.
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