Pick n Pay (PnP) has signed up as a member of MetPac-SA – the Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) that represents the metal packaging recycling industry in South Africa.
Earlier this week, the MetPac-SA’s CEO, Kishan Singh, extended a warm welcome to Pick n Pay and applauded its decision to support the local metal packaging industry’s efforts to increase the collection and recovery rates of aluminium cooldrink cans, canned food packaging made from aluminium and stainless steel, as well as aluminium foil products, aerosol cannisters, metal caps and closures etc.
Commenting on their motivation for joining MetPac-SA, Pick n Pay Sustainability General Manager, Andre Nel, explains that partnerships such as these play an important part of in driving long-term sustainable change.
“As a leading retailer, we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and encourage our suppliers and customers to join us on this journey. The more we work together, the greater the difference we can make. We believe it is important to support organisations such as MetPac-SA, who are focused on establishing a circular economy by treating waste as a valuable resource that can be used to address a range of economic, social and environmental challenges,” Nel says. He adds that Pick n Pay has experienced the benefits of this approach first hand with its reusable bags that are made from recycled plastic bottles.
“By increasing reuse and recycling, we prevent more waste from reaching our environment,” Nel emphasises.
This sentiment is echoed by MetPac-SA, who has been making concerted efforts over the past few months to introduce brand owners and retailers and encourage them to belong to a PRO and subscribe to the Industry Waste Management Plan. Apart from Pick n Pay, the association also recently welcomed Woolworths onboard – joining other industry leaders such ABInBev, Coca-Cola, Distell, Heineken, Hulamin, Nampak, Nestle, Pack Solve, Dürsots and Wyda SA.
“By signing up as members, retailers are not only setting an example for their suppliers to follow, but are also helping to invest in recycling and recovery operations through contributing to an annual Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fee,” Singh explains.
South Africa’s metals packaging collection rate currently sits at an estimated 75.8 %, but the industry has set itself the task of increasing this figure to 79% by 2021 and 81% by 2023.
“The only way we are going to be able to meet this objective and establish a sustainable, effective material recovery system in South Africa is by positively managing the so-called ‘free riders’ – those producers who place their products into the market and onto supermarket shelves without belonging to a PRO and without contributing fees that are used inter alia to clean-up the environment, drive recycling and create much needed employment. For this reason we are engaging with other retailers to become members of MetPac-SA as part of their Extended Producer Responsibility to show their commitment and support to sustainable practices in the industry,” Singh concludes.
For more information, please visit www.metpacsa.org.za