Government is looking at long term interventions that will significantly transform the waste sector, says Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.
Minister Molewa said the sector must be transformed to an extent that it makes a significant contribution to the growth of the secondary materials economy that creates jobs at every level and support industrial efficiencies.
“As you know, the government is committed to finding alternative and innovative ways to divert waste away from the landfill sites and convert it to valuable resources. This commitment is also echoed in the National Development Plan (NDP),” she said.
Minister Molewa was speaking at the launch of the Mpact Liquid Packaging in Ekurhuleni. Mpact Group has built a Liquid Packaging recycling plant.
This plant will recycle approximately 25 000 tonnes per year of liquid packaging products, poly coated cups and cartons and wet strength bags and packaging, thereby saving 65 240 cubic metres of landfill space and reduce approximately 11 400 tonnes of carbon emission per annum.
The Mpact plant will create six direct employment and 500 indirect employment opportunities in the collection of recyclables.
“It is important to note that government need the society and industry to ensure sustainable materials management. The recycling of waste remains a significant part of the manufacturing sector.
“We therefore need to work together towards ensuring that the waste material finds its way back into the manufacturing chain so as to advance our commitment to circular economy and employment creation interventions, particularly within the green economy space,” she said.
Minister Molewa called on other companies operating in the packaging industry to follow the example of Mpact Group and ensure their waste is recycled.
“I would also want to challenge the sector as a whole to support and strengthen the recyclable collection part of the value-chain.
“Allow me to commend Mpact, for leading the way in unlocking the economic viability and opportunities presented by this industry. This is also in line with the National Waste Management Strategy, which paves the way for exploration of recycling economy as a mechanism to improve socio-economic conditions in South Africa,” she said.