Nestlé became the first food and manufacturing company to join the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco), a not-for-profit industry body that was established in 2011 to focus on reducing the amount of used polyolefin plastic packaging waste going to landfill and ending plastic waste in the environment. Polyco aims to make waste a valuable resource that works for our economy by increasing the sustainable collection, recycling, recovery and beneficiation of polyolefin plastic packaging.
Today’s announcement coincides with Nestlé’s recent launch of its RE sustainability initiative in South Africa, which is aimed at reinforcing all its sustainability initiatives, strategies and resources to help mitigate sustainability challenges and strengthen its contribution to a waste-free future. The initiative focuses on three key pillars to tackle the sustainability issues: RETHINK, REDUCE and REPURPOSE.
Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) notes that sustainability challenges cannot be addressed through a singular approach. “As Nestlé in East and Southern Africa, we know that addressing sustainability challenges cannot be resolved without collaboration and it therefore becomes important to work with like-minded partners like Polyco. Being a leading food and beverage company in the world, we have drawn lessons from other markets that have successfully joined producer responsibility organisations in a way that has made a meaningful impact on collection and recycling initiatives. We are excited to join Polyco and hope our contribution can lead to increases in the recycling rate of polyolefin plastic,” concluded Tohlang.
Under the proposed new extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation, as contemplated under section 18(1) of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008, planned for implementation on the 5th November 2021 by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE); producers, through their producer responsibility organisations, will be mandated to manage their products at end-of-life in order to grow the downstream reuse and recycling of their materials to achieve agreed legislated targets.
“Nestlé have shown their commitment to extended producer responsibility and we are delighted to have them join Polyco as our very first brand owner member. Brand owners are key stakeholders within the packaging and recycling value chain as they are the decision makers for the packaging that is placed on the market and which ultimately either gets collected for recycling or ends up in the environment. We are excited to further our impact in growing the collection and recycling of polyolefin plastic packaging in South Africa, and to work closely with our members to support ending plastic waste in the environment,” says Mandy Naudé, CEO of Polyco.