Polyco, a registered producer responsibility organisation (PRO) has welcomed a new executive into its leadership team to strengthen relations with its stakeholders within the recycling value chain and increase transformation in the industry. Feroze Shaik, who will be taking the helm of Polyco’s advocacy, aims to build solid relationships with government to represent the interests of its members so that their voices are heard at a national policy level. 

“With two years since the promulgation of the extended-producer responsibility (EPR) regulations and other regulatory developments, the recycling sector is presenting us with more opportunities to grow the value chain to benefit more people,” says Shaik. “Recycling can change the lives of many people by extending the value chain of waste and becoming more inclusive of communities that previously did not have access to the market. It was an easy decision for me to join the team based on this vision.”

Shaik brings a wealth of experience in stakeholder relations, especially with government stakeholders. In his previous role, he worked as the Chief of Staff in the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE), within Minister Barbara Creecy’s office. 

“Feroze will be working to grow Polyco’s influence in the plastic recycling industry and will become a key player at Polyco with regards to government relations as well as driving transformation in the sector,” says Patricia Pillay, Chief Executive Officer at Polyco. “Two years ago, Polyco took the decision to extend our scope to include all polymer types under our mandate as a PRO, therefore we represent an exceptionally large sector. Feroze will be fundamental in taking stock of our member’s needs and representing their interests with government.”

At the same time, Nicola Rowe will be stepping down from her position as Executive of Brand and Marketing. “My time at Polyco has been an intense four and a half years as we have navigated the global pressure to reduce the negative impact of plastic pollution, the impact of lockdowns on the recycling industry, and most recently the fundamental shift that the introduction of mandatory EPR in South Africa offers the industry. I applaud the team for the growth that we have achieved at Polyco and the grace with which they have navigated the changes along the way. I look forward to seeing Polyco’s impact grow, and their collaborative efforts become even stronger to achieve a sustainable environment and future for South Africa. Keep an eye on them as they bring global best practices to South Africa by investing in plastic recycling initiatives that support social inclusion and wellbeing, an improved environment, and economic growth.” says Rowe.

Polyco boasts some commendable achievements in the plastics recycling sector. To date, R115 000 000 has been invested into 114 project partners. This investment has brought about a capacity growth in the plastic recycling industry of over 280 000 tonnes. 

“I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to Nicola, for her work and the influence she had in growing the Polyco brand to what it has become now. This was no easy feat, especially during a pandemic with numerous business interruptions, as well as during a significant shift for Polyco when we expanded our mandate to all polymer types. I commend you for your work,” adds Pillay.