The overall award went to Palletplast’s lightweight export shipping pallet made from recycled PET bottles, thermoformed containers, and other waste. Receiving the certificate from SAPRO chairman, Johann Conradie (centre), are Chris Smith and Steph le Roux.
The winner of both the Newcomer and Engineering Awards, Palletplast’s lightweight shipping pallet made from recycled PET bottles, thermoformed containers and other waste, went on to be selected as the overall winner.
The judges commended Palletplast’s ability to manufacture the 1.2 x 1m pallet from waste that until recently has not been recycled. Production started in February 2019 after the Cape Town-based company invested in infrared drying of hygroscopic recyclate to accelerate start-up times. The process can accommodate up to 5% contamination typically associated with this type of incoming waste, and the company now has the capacity to reach 20 000 units/month.
According to the judges, all finalists and winners in the Newcomer Award category deserve a special mention, as each has had to overcome challenges, including identifying suitable suppliers and customers, and finding the best methods of overcoming inconsistencies and variations in the raw material stream.
Gold went to Palletplast for its rPET pallet, in recognition of the enterprise and investment in capital equipment required to produce the moulds and manufacture a proudly South African export product.
Silver went to Masterbatch SA’s post-consumer masterbatch that allows converters and brand owners to maintain their environmental claims by manufacturing 100% recycled-content products with a consistent colour profile (for more information, see page 53).
Sole Board, sold by Tufflex Plastic Products to construction companies as a stable base for scaffolding, was awarded bronze for taking considerable tonnages of difficult-to-recycle and multilayer material waste and converting it into a simple product.
Number 7 Award
The Number 7 Award celebrates products manufactured from difficult-to-recycle materials and where no mainstream recyclate markets previously existed.
Gold went to Durostack’s fibre-reinforced pallets (pictured right), in which 15% of the recycled content is sourced from multilayer materials.
Silver was presented to Sole Board from Tufflex Plastic Products for taking substantial volumes of multilayer and other difficult-to-recycle materials into an out-of-the-norm industry.
The Engineering Award, for products containing a percentage of PCR (post-consumer recyclate), attracted the largest number of entries.
As the judges noted, the presence of a strong recyclate odour limits the use of higher concentrations of PCR content for packaging applications.
Gold went to Palletplast’s rPET pallet for taking not-currently-recycled PET trays and fibre waste and engineering a lightweight pallet. The judges were impressed with the company’s ability to overcome a series of manufacturing issues such as an inherently hygroscopic material and an inconsistent incoming raw material stream to produce a consistent quality injection moulded product.
Makulu Tanks received silver for its technically challenging rotational moulded Green Tank while Cycliq and Masterbatch SA shared bronze. Cycliq’s modular cable drum with its intricate moulds is manufactured from 70% recycled polypropylene and some polyal. Masterbatch SA’s post-consumer masterbatch enables brand owners and converters to fulfil their recycled content claims while maintaining packaging’s colour consistency.
Signatories to the South African Plastics Pact are striving to increase recycled content in their packaging and the SAPRO’s Inclusive Award acknowledges products manufactured from 100% post-consumer recyclate.
Unilever received gold for the Sunlight Dishwash bottle manufactured from 100% rPET supplied by Extrupet.
Silver was awarded to Envirolite’s Lightweight Concrete, recognising the substantial volumes of post-consumer polystyrene trays and cups recycled into durable products with improved properties compared to traditional concrete variants.
The judges awarded Product Genesis with a bronze for manufacturing a practical, reusable aluminium replacement frame.
SAPRO and its members rely on off-take agreements for recycled polymer. The Switch Award acknowledges entries that have consumed large volumes of recycled materials in the past year as they help ensure that recyclers – who need substantial volumes to invest in equipment to size reduce, wash and pelletise recyclable plastics waste into raw materials – can sell their products. Among the nine entries, more than 30 000 tons of recycled material have found new markets in the past 12 months, assisting the industry in achieving its recycling targets.
Gold recipient, Premier Plastics, switched from 100% virgin blends to a 100% recycled content carrier bags in response to consumer and retailer demand. The judges commended the changeover for creating a market for 11 000 tons of recycled polyethylene in the past year.
Joint silver went to Nampak Rigid Plastics’ generic range of crates that have been utilising large volumes of PCR for decades, and Tuffy for its range of PCR film and bags finding markets in standard and drawstring refuse bags and shopping bags.
The board recognised Clicks, Pick n Pay, Spar and Woolworths for collaborating and helping to change the production and consumption landscape of single-use plastics. SAPRO chairman, Johann Conradie, commended the retailers’ efforts in prompting carrier bagmakers to remove calcium carbonate and include at least 70% recycled material, making the bulk of the bags on the market 100% recyclable.
‘It is one signal that retailers are committing to extended producer responsibility; another is the adoption of a standardised approach to on-pack recycling logos. Their commitment to the South African Plastics Pact will help shift the pace in our transition to a circular plastics economy,’ Johann comments.
Polyco, Relloy-Erema and PlasticsISA are thanked for their sponsorship of the event’s gold, silver and categories respectively. Also gratefully acknowledged is the support received from Workshop 17, The Ad Shop, Skyland Masterbatch & Polymers, and PETCO.
Pick n Pay’s André Nel, Aletta Nijland and Roan Snyman showing some of the recycled material shopping bags that the retail group stocks.