Polyco General

Polyco is short for the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation NPC. We are a non-profit company that supports and promotes the collection, recovery, recycling, and beneficiation of post-consumer polyolefin packaging material. Read more

Polyco is an industry-funded body that supports and promotes the collection, recovery, recycling, and beneficiation of post-consumer polyolefin packaging materials.

Polyco does not sell, buy or trade in any physical plastic products. We will try and assist you to source these products for your business and connect you to markets for your product. Contact us on +27 21 276 2096 with your detailed enquiries. Read more here

Polyolefins is the collective term for the kinds of plastics that include polyethylene, namely low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). More details about these materials here

Polyolefins used in the manufacture of packaging will be subject to the EPR levy as below :

  • Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
  • Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Polypropylene (copo and homo) (PP)

Polyco is funded by means of an EPR levy from its member organisations that are the polyolefin packaging converters in South Africa. They pay R110 per ton of virgin polymer purchased to manufacture packaging products. Click here to view our members.

You can search for the closest buy back or drop off points in your area using this handy MyWaste widget.

Alternatively you can visit www.mywaste.co.za

Polyco focuses on polyolefin plastics, LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE and PP identified by polymer identification codes 2, 4 and 5. For further information on other recyclable packaging click here

The Polyco offices are situated in Springfield Office Estate, Marathon House, 109 Jip De Jager, Bellville. You can contact us at +27 21 276 2096.  Also see our contacts page here

Project Funding

If you are a member of the polyolefin recycling industry value chain (collector, recycler or beneficiator you may apply to Polyco for financial support of your project. If you are a mechanical recycler, membership of the South African Polymer Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) will be required for the duration of the payback period (36 months).

Support for funding is now closed.

Typically Polyco will have two funding opportunities during the course of the year. These will cover the entire recycling value chain, from collection, recycling, quality testing equipment and end use development.

The amount of support that our board would consider will depend on your business plan, whether the investment will contribute to our overall recycling and recovery targets, your risk profile and the overall affordability from a Rand per ton perspective for Polyco to support your plan. The maximum invested to date, on any single project, is R5million.

Please bear in mind that we do not fund start-up businesses, nor do we fund vehicles, forklifts, working capital or operational expenditures. Your business plan will have to include a comprehensive budget.

Also have a look at the information on our Funding Criteria Document.

Polyco is an industry-funded body with a particular purpose to support and promote the collection, recovery, recycling, and beneficiation of post-consumer polyolefin packaging materials. Our mandate and resources unfortunately do not include general business support services such as feasibility studies. We would suggest that you speak to a business support specialist consultant or business that specialises in the waste industry to assist you in this regard. A good starting point to source such a consultant could be bodies such as SEDA or SME Toolkit.

No, Polyco does not compile business plans on behalf of others. If you need help to put together your business plan, we suggest that you contact one of the small business support bodies such as SEDA, SME Toolkit or the Department of Small Business Development for further guidance.

We do not provide a support service to prepare your business plans. However, whether you compile your own business plan or obtain assistance elsewhere, here is a useful list of questions which you will have to address :

  • Are there other collectors and/or recyclers in the area where you want to operate?
  • Have you done an analysis of the volumes that you think are available?
  • Is there an abundant supply of waste material to supply your business in the area where you want to operate?
  • Are you familiar with the market value of the materials that you want to collect?
  • Are there any issues to be addressed such as access to material at shopping centres or local regulations that may affect your access to some of the material?
  • Have you approached some of the large corporate businesses that will support your business by making post-consumer packaging available or accessible to you?
  • Do you have outlets for the product that you will collect and/or process? Have you tested those outlets by talking to the owners? What will be the costs involved in selling to those outlets (transport, administration etc.)
  • Do you have suitable premises for the business to operate from? Have you ensured that there are no local regulations that will prohibit your activities?
  • Is the area correctly zoned for this type of business? Do you need any permits to operate?
  • Do you have the working capital to get the venture up and running? If you do not have enough have you started talking to banks and other sources of capital? Will you ensure that all agreements are in writing to protect all parties?

Polyco always seeks to gain the maximum benefit from the recovered waste before exploring waste to energy solutions. We follow the waste hierarchy of reduce, re-use, recycle, recover and then dispose. However certain packaging materials are not suitable for recycling and we therefore are trying to find alternative waste beneficiation solutions. Funding will always be based on our funding criteria.


If you are not yet a member of Polyco and do not have your own IWMP, please read the Section 28 notice below, then decide whether you would like to subscribe to the Polyco IWMP. This Notice covers the “Intention to call for Industry Waste Management Plans (IWMP) “and was published on 12th September 2016.

A key definition in the Section 28 Notice is that of “Producer” which refers to:

  • Any person or category of persons engaged in the commercial manufacture, conversion, refurbishment or import of new and /or used paper and packaging materials;
  • Importers of goods wrapped in primary or secondary packaging material, and includes everything that is imported in packaging.

We do not recommend that you develop your own plan but suggest that you rather become part of the Polyco IWMP. Polyco will develop an Industry Waste Management Plan for the specific material waste streams that they represent i.e. Polyolefins (HDPE, LDPE, LLDP and PP). These plans, together with submissions from the paper, metal and glass packaging sectors, will form part of a greater Paper and Packaging Industry Waste Management Plan. Packaging SA will develop the macro strategy and activities and will submit all these plans together as one plan for approval by DEA.

We value the support of all Stakeholders and your subscription to our plan will demonstrate to Government that we have an efficient and effective operating model, in order to address the management of polyolefin packaging waste in South Africa.

Click here to view the Government Gazette Notice, No. 40270

Click here
to for more information on what polyolefins are.

Click here to read FAQ on what qualifies you to join Polyco’s IWMP

Read below on how to join Polyco’s IWMP

Complete the Polyco Stakeholder Form if you wish to subscribe to our Plan.

Please click here to read the National Pricing Strategy for Waste Management 11 August 2016.

Please click here for the Notice Of Intention To Call For Plans, issued on 12 September 2016

Please contact Polyco should you require assistance in Membership/Stakeholder applications. Alternatively click here to fill in an membership/stakeholder application form.

The polymer producers, Safripol, Sasol and Plastomark will invoice you. These invoices will include the EPR levy as a separate line item, and must be paid within the agreed terms to the polymer supplier. Imports will need to be declared to Polyco monthly. Polyco will then invoice you for the EPR levy and this must be paid to within the agreed terms.

The EPR levy is also applicable to all polyolefins imported into South Africa. Converters will need to submit a monthly import declaration form, whereupon an invoice will be generated by Polyco for the EPR levy.

You will be required to sign up as a member of Polyco and pay an annual EPR levy on the basis of 0.05% of the previous years’ annual import value declared.

You will be required to sign up as an Associate member of Polyco and pay an annual EPR levy of R10 000.00.

Client confidential information will not be shared outside the Polyco operations team. The Polyco Board does not see individual converter information, but will only see consolidated figures for the total Company.

Yes, Tri-partite agreements and Converter consent forms are required to be signed.

Polyco’s funding support programme is focused on supporting the entire recycling industry value chain, namely the polyolefin Recyclers and Collectors. There is a cost to sustainable practices, to ultimately prevent the discarded packaging from going to landfill site. It needs to be collected, separated and recycled – and this costs money.

The key categories of project support include:

  1. Supply Chain Efficiency projects
  2. Visible Consumer/End Use Development projects
  3. Quality Testing
  4. Waste Beneficiation for multi-layer plastics i.e. pyrolysis or incineration.

It is also used for education and awareness purposes, to change the behaviours of consumers to act responsibly and recycle their used packaging.

The current EPR levy is R110 per ton.

Polyco recommends that you do. As this will become a mandated charge, once the legislation is finalised, it should form part of your cost base and be recovered in your selling prices.

Industry Waste Management Plan

  • If you are a producer of primary or secondary packaging, you will need to register with the DEA and you will need to subscribe to a registered IWMP.
  • If you are an importer of primary or secondary packaging, you will need to register with the DEA and you will need to subscribe to a registered IWMP.
  • If you are an importer of goods wrapped in primary or secondary packaging you will need to register with the DEA and you will need to subscribe to a registered IWMP.

You do not have to register with the DEA. You do have the option to submit your own IWMP to the DEA or to subscribe to a DEA registered IWMP like Polyco, there will be no levy charged to you.

Yes, you will still have to register with the DEA as a producer of primary packaging. As regards being a member the Polyco IWMP, cognisance will be taken of the fact that you are already paying the excessive bag levy and a reduced levy will be charged on the polymer consumed in the bag manufacture.

You are not obliged to register under the Section 28 notice with the DEA or belong to an IWMP, however Polyco offer an Associate Membership option which will demonstrate your support of the Polyco IWMP. The cost to become an Associate Member is R10 000 per annum.

The Intention is not to register each of the sites separately. The Head Office of the Group should register with the DEA. DEA needs confirmation from the Head Office or Corporate Office that there will be availability of information from the different operating sites.

Yes, you do need to belong to a registered IWMP. This plan deals with the end of life packaging that you produce that will negatively affect the environment. Recycling your factory waste is an efficiency cost saving.

The EPR levy structure will be dependent on several factors. The current EPR levy for converters is R110 per ton.

  • For your local suppliers of primary and secondary packaging, you must ensure that they are registered with the DEA as well as belonging to the relevant registered IWMP. You will be charged R110/ton for the EPR levy on their invoice to you.
  • For the imported packaging, you will have to register with the DEA as an importer and subscribe to the relevant IWMP’s and contribute as per the table below.
  • For the goods imported in wrapped primary or secondary packaging you will have to register with the DEA and subscribe to the relevant IWMP and contribute as per the table below.


Levy rate p.a. of 0.05% of Prior Year Declared Import Value.
R       5 000 000             would be            R   2 500
R     50 000 000             would be             R 25 000
R   100 000 000             would be             R 50 000
R1 000 000 000             would be             R500 000

Our contention is that, as it is a government regulation to belong to an IWMP, the EPR levies associated with this will have to be included into your product costing and recovered in your selling price. Alternatively you have the prerogative to show the EPR levy as a separate line item on your invoice.

The EPR levy currently is R110 per ton. Upon completion of the IWMP, the rate per ton required to achieve the IWMP targets will be communicated to all stakeholders.

Yes. The Multilayer Packaging forum joined Polyco in 2015 and will form part of Polyco’s IWMP.

The EPR levy is payable on all virgin polymer consumed into polyolefin packaging products and distributed in South Africa and is administered on a Rand per ton basis. It is also payable on primary and secondary packaging imported and distributed in South Africa.

The punitive penalties for non-compliance include imprisonment for 15 years or an appropriate fine or both.

You must firstly register with the DEA. You must then register with the IWMP of the material stream that constitutes the majority of your waste.