Press Room

POLYCO - August 2023

Our children hold more wisdom than we can imagine, especially when it comes to protecting the environment. Children across the country have therefore embraced the importance of recycling used plastic packaging. ‘Return The Favour. Recycle Your Plastics.’, a campaign launched by Polyco in 2022, demonstrated this, with a group of young recycling ambassadors taking over social media to share important messages about recycling at home. This year, these same ambassadors are encouraging you to take the work out of recycling, by recycling at work.

Through its Million Plus initiative, Polyco launched the Return the Favour campaign on National Recycling Day 2022 through a series of short video messages hosted by enthusiastic children to show us all how easy it is to recycle at home. Almost 300 000 people across South Africa viewed these video messages.

National Recycling Day returns this year on Friday, 15 September and Polyco is launching a campaign extension with the goal of encouraging South Africans to recycle at work.

“Let’s listen to our children when they ask us to recycle or do something to live more sustainably.” says Patricia Pillay, Chief Executive Officer at Polyco. “Last year these fun, informative video messages received an impressive response with thousands of South Africans seeing how easy it is to recycle their plastic packaging at home. We want momentum to continue, and we want more videos to laugh at on social media, so we’ve created new videos that highlight how easy it is to take the work out of recycling, by recycling at work.”

“This National Recycling Day, we are asking you to share these videos across your social media channels and make these messages viral,” says Pillay. “We also want to encourage you to make the commitment to establish a recycling system at your place of work. You will be surprised at how easy it is and how quickly your colleagues will adopt the habit.”

Through the Million Plus, Polyco aims to get more than one million South Africans to join the plastic recycling movement by committing to recycling. Million Plus aims to make recycling the normal thing for every South African by educating South Africans about the importance of recycling in improving environmental wellbeing and contributing to economic growth. Recycling your plastic is one way that you can positively contribute to a better South Africa.

Help Polyco’s Million Plus with its goal of getting one million South Africans to recycle their plastic waste by simply sharing these videos with your friends and family and by taking the work out of recycling, by recycling at work.

To find out more about how to recycle at work visit

POLYCO - August 2023
Polyco Welcomes Feroze Shaik as Head of Advocacy and Transformation

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.

POLYCO - May 2023
Polyco's Packa-Ching Reaches 10 Million Milestone


Polyco’s Packa-Ching, one of South Africa’s most successful community recycling initiatives has reached an impressive milestone. In just six years, the initiative has helped community residents in low-income areas across South Africa earn over R10 million in return for collecting over 10 million kilograms of used recyclable packaging materials such as plastic, glass, cans and paper. These materials are weighed on-site at the Packa-Ching unit and community members are paid immediately. Funds can be utilised at a number of retails outlets or can be withdrawn or transferred to another bank account.  Polyco’s Packa-Ching initiative was founded with the goal of ending plastic waste in the environment, diverting recyclables from landfill, and growing the recycling economy in South Africa.

“Recyclable waste has value when it is viewed as a ‘secondary resource’,” says Patricia Pillay, Chief Executive Officer at Polyco. “Through Packa-Ching there has been a massive shift in the perception towards waste. Community residents understand that they can earn an income by trading in their used recyclable packaging. Some residents have reported that they are able to pay electricity bills, school fees and put food on the table because of their recycling efforts with Packa-Ching.”

Not only does Packa-Ching provide residents with an additional income source, but the initiative also supports local recycling businesses. Packa-Ching mobile recycling units, that consist of a truck and trailer, are in operation across South Africa and they are run by local waste management businesses. “We provide these local businesses with equipment and support with some of the operational costs. This model allows Packa-Ching to become completely self-sustaining over time,” says Pillay.

To-date, there are 15 mobile Packa-Ching units throughout the country, servicing more than 80 communities, and employing over 50 people; the most recent being launched in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal in May 2023 with new launches planned for the remainder of 2023. A total of 10 003 987 kilograms of recyclable waste has been diverted using these recycling units. “The mobility of the Packa-Ching recycling units takes the recycling facility to the doorstep of its users. Being mobile also means that the recycling business can take the recycling unit around the community, extending its market and customer base.”

The idea behind Packa-Ching is to tap into a new market of recyclable material by offering an incentivised buy-back model for residents living in informal communities – this allows an income earning opportunity for both the Packa-Ching Enterprise Owner and the community member. By offering a monetary voucher in exchange for recyclables, Packa-Ching facilitates a change in behaviour and shift in perception towards plastic waste.

“Having the support of Shoprite and Sasol as the main sponsors has been instrumental in the roll out of Packa-Ching,” shares Pillay. “We are aiming to have a total of 25 units operating across South Africa within the next year and we look forward to uplifting more communities and helping to clean up the environment,” shares Pillay.

If you are a waste collection company in South Africa and are interested in understanding the criteria required for enterprise selection please visit and email

To follow the development of the Packa-Ching project visit or follow them on Facebook at @PackaChing or on Instagram at @PackaChingZA

POLYCO - September 2022
Polyco's Million+ New Campaign Goes Live


We set out to not just remind South Africa how important it is to recycle (because we’ve all heard that message for years), but how easy it is to recycle. So easy in fact, that even a kid can do it. Then again, these days it would seem that kids can do anything – and don’t they like to remind us of that?!

So, in an effort to bring a light-hearted approach to the doom and gloom of a world drowning under all the plastic waste out there, we got some of those very kids to highlight all the favours they do for us every day, and in turn, ask for a return on their investment: recycle our plastics.
It’s really easy, as they show us, to just ‘Rinse it. Split it. Drop it.’
From different plastics to what you can do if you don’t have collection services in your area, these kids know how to remind us of what they do for their adults and how they expect to be repaid.
They do us a lot of favours, and now they want them returned. By recycling our plastics.

We created these entertaining videos with the aim to make them something that people would want to participate in and share with others. We all use plastic, so we should all be recycling, we just want to show how easy it is and make it easy to share the message too.

On our website they will be able to view and share all the videos and that have been made , as well as be able download posts with messaging that can be shared via whatsapp community groups by recycling warriors wanting to make a change in their neighbourhood.

Our two main audiences that we are targeting are families (who produce the most plastic per household) and Recycling Warriors who are already supporting the cause. Just helping to equip them with some fresh material to spread the message.

POLYCO - May 2022
Francois Marais returns to Polyco

Joint announcement from Fibre Circle and Polyco


Francois Marais returns to Polyco, leaves Fibre Circle


JOHANNESBURG – May 23, 2022 – Polyco PRO NPC, the producer responsibility organisation (PRO) for plastic packaging in South Africa, has announced that Francois Marais will be joining the organisation from 1 June 2022. He leaves his current position as Business Development Manager at Fibre Circle, the PRO for the paper and paper packaging industry, to take on the position of EPR Specialist at Polyco.


Since August 2019, Francois assisted with the establishment of Fibre Circle as a PRO, and managing engagements around the Section 18 EPR regulations, which were gazetted in May 2021. He also helped the organisation ramp up its producer registrations to close on 200 companies who manufacture or import paper products.


Commenting his move, Francois notes, “I am sad to leave the paper family, but I am excited about continuing the collaborative work between all the paper and packaging organisations as we navigate the tricky territory of EPR, waste management and recycling in South Africa.”


Fibre Circle CEO Edith Leeuta says, “Francois has been a valuable member of the Fibre Circle family and contributed significantly to establishing key relationships with our members. We are pleased that he is not leaving the industry entirely and look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with him and Polyco. We wish Francois success in his new role and all his future endeavours.”


Francois’s depth of experience includes roles at Nampak, Bidvest, Remade Recycling and the Waste Group and Polyco is delighted to welcome him back to the team.

“Francois’s extensive experience with EPR in South Africa makes him a valuable asset to Polyco. His years of knowledge and expertise gained in the recycling industry will play a key role in ensuring our EPR scheme is effectively rolled out, we achieve our targets, and we support our members and various stakeholders,” says Patricia Pillay, CEO of Polyco.

“We have a huge responsibility as the largest plastics PRO in South Africa to find sustainable solutions for dealing with all plastic waste material in the country. Francois is no stranger to Polyco or to the PRO environment, and we welcome his thought leadership during this exciting transition of moving from a voluntary to mandatory organisation. We look forward to having him on our team,” adds Patricia.

Extended Producer Responsibility

With new EPR regulations, it is now mandatory for producers to join a PRO or form one themselves. Under the EPR regulations, legislated for implementation from 5 November 2021, producers, through their PROs or independent schemes, are legally mandated to manage their products at end of life in order to grow the downstream reuse and recycling of their materials to achieve the published legislated targets. Obligated producers have until 5 November 2021 to register with the DFFE and ensure that all identified products are covered by an EPR scheme. They can either join an existing PRO, form a new PRO or develop and submit an independent EPR scheme.

A challenge with these new EPR regulations is that producers who manufacture more than one type of plastic are required to join more than one PRO to cover their full product range. Considering this, Polyco has made the decision to now manage all plastic polymer types under our mandate.

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