Tetra Pak recycling

Tetra Pak SA and Gayatri sign 7 200 ton recycling deal

In a boost for local packaging recycling, Tetra Pak South Africa reports it has inked an agreement with Gayatri Paper Mills to recycle carton waste in South Africa.

Gayatri, part of the Golden Era Group of companies and one of the fastest growing packaging companies in South Africa, already recycles in excess of 6 000 tons of cardboard a month and will begin carton recycling in August this year.

“The partnership evolved because Gayatri needed more pulp for their paper mill and downstream operations while Tetra Pak wanted to increase carton recycling in South Africa,” says Rodney Reynders, environmental manager at Tetra Pak in sub-Saharan Africa. “The Tetra Pak carton waste will add a lot of value to their recycled pulp quality, due to the quality of board used in the manufacturing process of our cartons and the recovered pulp will be used for the manufacture of secondary packaging, which could be used by our customers.”

Southern Africa produces 24 000 tons of carton waste annually, West Africa 7 000 tons, and East Africa 6 000 tons. Each of those represent current and growing markets for Gayatri’s facility since Africa has an extremely poorly developed carton recycling infrastructure.

Carton from South Africa is currently exported to India so it is at least not currently going to landfill in the country but 75% of Tetra Pak’s cartons are valuable board that could and soon will be used in the production of local goods.

Gayatri’s plant, once up-to-speed, will be capable of recycling 7 200 tons each year, an enormous ramp up from South Africa’s current 1 500 ton per annum carton recycling effort.

“We have based our business model on the highly successful rollout of carton recycling partnerships between Tetra Pak and local recyclers in Brazil,” says Reynders. “While we don’t expect to do their volumes which are in excess of 50 000 tons per annum we do see enormous potential for the local market to stimulate revenues, job creation, and greater positive impact on the local environment. We also see this as an opportunity to work closely with local and sub-Saharan Africa partners, from government to local businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Tetra Pak currently supports several initiatives to collect the carton such as its 60 drop off locations supporting 550 000 households and kerbside projects.

It also works closely with industry associations in South Africa, to assist in driving recycling programmes and is also involved with education programme at schools, through its association with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).