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Home » Industry News » Recycling & Waste Management » Packa-Ching expands national footprint with the launch of new buy-back recycling centres 

Packa-Ching expands national footprint with the launch of new buy-back recycling centres 

POLYCO, a producer-responsibility organisation (PRO) for the plastic industry, in collaboration with Border Kei Chamber of Business officially handed over a new static Packa-Ching buy-back recycling centre in Amalinda to Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, and will be operated by DNF Waste Management & Environmental Services.

The facility is the first of three new Packa-Ching buy-back centres to be opened in Buffalo City by the end of March 2024. 

“It is expected that the existing two centres as well as the three new centres will process over a million kilograms of recyclable material per annum when operating optimally by 2025, paying out over R1 million  to the community per year”, says Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman from DNF.

The Packa-Ching programme, provides separation-at-source mobile and static recycling services to communities across South Africa. Community members, in particular waste-reclaimers, are paid for the recyclable packaging material (such as plastics, glass, metal and board) they collect and drop off at the Packa-Ching centres. 

“It is a win-win solution – our Packa-Ching programme helps create a cleaner environment while creating economic opportunities for waste reclaimers and communities alike, said Polyco CEO, Patricia Pillay.

Waste reclaimers receive an instant voucher payment made to their cellphone which they can withdraw as cash or spend at a number of merchants including Shoprite, Checkers, uSave, Pick ‘n Pay, Clicks, Spar, Dischem stores – many of these retail stores are subsequent members of Polyco. 

There are currently over 24 Packa-Ching units across the country, with the programme having collected and recycled over 19.5 million kilograms of plastic and other recyclable packaging and paid out over R19.5 million to communities since it launched in 2017. 

Packa-Ching already has a footprint in Buffalo City Municipality through a partnership formed in 2021 between Polyco, the Buffalo City Metro Municipality , the Border-Kei Chamber of Business and the Buffalo City Metropolitan Development Agency  to introduce a recycling strategy in East London. 

As a result of this collaboration, two static buy-back centres were opened in September 2021 at Commercial Road in the CBD and Southernwood Road, which have played an enormous role in creating cleaner environments in these areas and encouraging residents to recycle. 

Since opening, these two initial centres alone have collected two million kilograms of recyclable waste and paid out over R2 million to community members. 

The three new centres opening in Amalinda, Qonce and Ndantsane will result in even more plastic and other material waste being collected and more money in community members’ pockets.  

“Through this joint collaboration with Polyco, Border Kei Chamber of Business and local businesses we have been able to create a cleaner city and develop a circular plastic economy, which creates jobs and has a direct financial benefit for communities who adopt recycling. We are excited that three new buy-back centres will be opening in the metro, so this win-win solution can be introduced to other areas”, said Buffalo City Metropolitan ward councillor Ntsika Qali.

Partnerships with municipalities and other stakeholders are critical to Polyco’s goal of eliminating plastic waste by increasing the collection of recycling and recycling of plastic packaging in South Africa.

“Our 140 project partner investments have already added over 300 000 tons of plastics recycling capacity growth in the country. But this is just the start, with our organisation aiming to add an additional 25 000 tonnes capacity growth coming online in Q1 of 2024 alone, as well as over 60 000 tons of plastics recycling material being incentivised. With more projects earmarked for 2024, we are on a mission to end plastic waste in South Africa,” said Pillay.

“Critical to achieving this goal is increased education and awareness of plastics recycling as well as collaboration with multiple stakeholders including municipalities and businesses. We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) and the Buffalo City Development Agency, which can serve as a blueprint for collaborations with other municipalities in the future,” Pillay added. 

For more information about the PackaChing programme in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality please visit: https://www.polyco.co.za/packa-ching/ or www.polyco.co.za

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