Many local businesses seem to have been shifting focus, in terms of resources and staff after dealing with the challenges of Covid-19, back to sustainability initiatives – until the power crisis worsened. Now they are having to invest in extra or larger generators to decrease the number of unproductive hours due to load shedding reaching up to stage six levels.
As with most packaging companies, SRF Flexipak SA, is also working on packaging sustainability improvements in terms of new films and the reduction of multilayer packaging constructions as well as running trials in conjunction with brand owners and their converting customers. Its focus is on helping the industry move towards the targets set out by Extended Producer Responsibility regulations in terms of reduction, reuse and design for recycling principles.
‘For SRF Flexipack SA, it’s also vital that sustainable solutions are relevant and valid for the South African market so that we can remain a reliable supplier to our converting customers and their brand owner customers as the primary manufacturer of BOPP films,’ Tom remarks. ‘Thanks to the backing and support of the industry and a loyal customer base, we supply around 70% of the market with our various grades of BOPP films. We therefore need to ensure minimal disruption by any of the current or future power or water challenges by continually investing in projects that keep the plant running as efficiently as possible.’
SRF Flexipak SA is soon to again upgrade its facility’s ability to generate power. Last year, the team implemented a one-megawatt solar power solution. At the end of February during its line upgrade shutdown, in addition to increasing production capacity by 10%, SRF will be installing two additional generators able to produce around three-megawatts of power and a rotary UPS (that routinely regulates the power) to avoid dips, which are very disruptive during the extrusion and BOPP manufacturing processes.
‘SRF Flexipak SA is firmly rooted in South Africa, and we stand by our commitment to partner with the local market,’ Tom concludes.