In 2018, South Africa recovered 1.285 million tonnes of recyclable paper products, putting the country’s paper recovery rate at 71.7%. This is according to Anele Sololo, general manager of the country’s paper recycling association, RecyclePaperZA, who adds that this rate is well above the global average of 59.3%.
If baled, 1.285 million tonnes of paper and paper packaging would:
— Cover 166 rugby fields.
— Fill 1 542 Olympic swimming pools.
— Weigh the equivalent of 214 208 adult African elephants.
“More importantly, the paper recovered in 2018 saved 3.855 million cubic metres of landfill space and ensured that the recovered fibre was made into new products that we use every day,” says Sololo. More than 90% of this recovered paper is used for the local beneficiation of new paper packaging and tissue.
South Africa’s paper recycling success is thanks to the efforts of citizens who separate their waste at home, work and school, industry initiatives and our informal waste sector. “Recycling requires a collective effort – from retailers to the consumer. We can all play a small part in making sure that recyclable paper gets where it should: to the paper recycling mills across the country,” says Sololo.