Nestlé became the first food and manufacturing company to join the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco), a not-for-profit industry body that was established in 2011 to focus on reducing the amount of used polyolefin plastic packaging waste going to landfill and ending plastic waste in the environment. Polyco aims to make waste a valuable resource that works for our economy by increasing the sustainable collection, recycling, recovery and beneficiation of polyolefin plastic packaging.
Today’s announcement coincides with Nestlé’s recent launch of its RE sustainability initiative in South Africa, which is 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.
Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) notes that sustainability challenges cannot 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,” concluded Tohlang.
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 on the 5th November 2021 by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE); producers, through their producer responsibility organisations, will be mandated to manage their products at end-of-life in order to grow the downstream reuse and recycling of their materials to achieve agreed legislated targets.
“Nestlé have shown their commitment to extended producer responsibility and we are delighted to have them join Polyco as our 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,” says Mandy Naudé, CEO of Polyco.
Polyco (the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation NPC) is focused on making waste a valuable resource that works for the economy. Polyco aims to grow the collection and recycling of polyolefin plastic packaging in South Africa, to reduce the amount of plastic packaging going to landfill and to end plastic waste in the environment. They do this by collaborating with multiple stakeholders, by investing in recycling innovation and infrastructure in South Africa, and by educating both the industry and the consumer about recycling. Polyco was established as a non-profit organisation in 2011 by a group of South Africa’s responsible polyolefin plastic-packaging converters to deal with polymer identification codes 2, 4, 5 and 7 and they represent the largest polymer group in SA, with approximately 196 000 tonnes of polyolefin packaging being mechanically recycled annually.
Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. It is present in 187 countries around the world, and its 291,000 employees are committed to Nestlé’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality for everyone, today and for generations to come. Nestlé offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives. Its more than 2,000 brands range from global icons like Nescafé or Nespresso to local favorites like Ricoffy. Company performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy. Nestlé is based in the Swiss town of Vevey where it was founded more than 150 years ago.