13 December 2018



Once again, the South African PET industry’s biggest celebration of recycling and waste management excellence are now open for nominations.
The PETCO Awards recognise leadership and future-thinking across the PET industry and beyond in addressing recycling, reuse and waste minimisation. Winners are recognised by their peers for contributing to advancing PET recycling and reflecting the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility, the circular economy, SMME development, and the advancement of women in their practices.
We will present the PETCO Awards as part of our 2019 AGM (date and time to be confirmed; please subscribe to the PETCO newsletter to be kept informed of further developments in this regard).
The deadline for submission of nominations is before 5pm, Friday 1 February 2019.

Please motivate your nomination comprehensively – this is of great help as often more than one nomination per category is received.
Please submit the following to

  1. Completed nomination form (download the nomination form here: Word or PDF);
  2. Supporting documentation (no more than 5 pages).

The 2019 categories are:

 1. Public Campaign of the Year

About the award: This category recognises a public-facing campaign that has successfully addressed a challenge around e.g. waste and the waste hierarchy, reducing reliance on landfill, increasing PET recycling, boosting reuse, or reducing waste-generating behaviour, amongst South African consumers specifically.
Who should enter: Any private, corporate or government organisation within the South African waste or recycling sectors that can demonstrate the successful implementation of a public-facing campaign to reduce waste-generating behaviour.

2. Recycled Product of the Year

About the award: This category recognises a product that exemplifies the best of sustainability. It will have been designed with careful consideration of resources and should incorporate a minimum of 10% recycled PET (rPET) content. Factors such as reusability, end-of-life solutions, waste minimisation, closed loop processes etc. will be taken into consideration.
Who should enter: Brand owners, manufacturers, converters and product designers that display high levels of innovation and expertise in addressing the technical and manufacturing challenges associated with increasing the percentage of recycled PET resin included in the products that they design and/or manufacture.

3. PET-repreneur

About the award: This category recognises a male OR a female individual whose entrepreneurial insight, ingenuity and perseverance has created and sustained a successful, growing business venture in the PET collection or recycling industry.

Who should enter: Owners and managers of small and medium-sized enterprises, focused on recycling of PET and other waste streams, that have shown innovation and best practice in their approaches to drive recycling and waste minimisation behaviour in their business as well as in their communities. Those who can systematically demonstrate how they have changed their own circumstances through recycling as well as the impact on their environment for the better will receive preferential attention.

4. Local Authority Recycling Innovation

About the award: This category recognises the importance of partnerships with municipalities and local authorities in addressing waste reduction behaviour in South Africa. Critically, as South Africa is running out of landfill space, strong partnerships with municipalities are required to decrease current illegal dumping behaviour and increase constituents’ access to recycling infrastructure.
Who should enter: Any local authority in South Africa that have used creative and innovative methods to drive up their recycling, reuse and waste prevention performance.

5. Recycling Partnership Gamechanger

About the award: This category recognises partnerships, including government (municipal, provincial or national), regulatory agencies, community organisations and private industry, that have successfully implemented game-changing initiatives, policies or programs that advance recycling and sustainability in South Africa. Examples include, but are not limited to, increased recycling participation, targeted recycling or reuse awareness campaigns, or repurposing closed landfills. Motivations must include tangible examples of how the partnership has resulted in a meaningful recycling outcomes or breakthroughs.

Who should enter: Combinations of waste management companies, recyclers, industry, businesses or compliance schemes. The entry must include at least two organisations, from different sectors.

6. The Circular Recycler

About the award: This category celebrates the significant role that waste minimisation and recycling plays within the Circular Economy. It recognises the innovation and business acumen that is required to be a successful and sustainable recycling business and looks to identify the facility that leads all others in one or more key indicators, such as sustainability measures adopted, minimising greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, volumes of PET collected and/or processed, or other site improvements. Nominations must include metrics to affirm that their facility is the leading facility in the country.
Who should enter: This award category is not limited to recycling facilities. Any business that addresses waste minimisation broadly within their model may enter.

7. Top Woman in Recycling

About the award: This category recognises the importance of women in leadership, specifically within the recycling sector in South Africa, and aims to grow the number of female role models in the sector for future leaders.
Who should enter: Females in the South African recycling sector that have demonstrated admirable leadership, business acumen and strategic foresight in growing South Africa’s economy through recycling and driving recycling efforts in South Africa.

8. Waste Reduction Youth Warrior

About the award: PETCO’s vision is that capacitated, empowered consumers know about PET and know that it is recyclable and safe to use; they understand the potential and value of PET and recycled PET (rPET); they use their influence and buying power to drive positive recycling behaviour through demanding products containing recycled content. This category recognises specifically the role of youth in achieving this vision in South Africa, passionately doing what many adults can’t or won’t.
Who should enter: Any individuals between the ages of 6 and 15 who have tirelessly worked to drive recycling and waste minimisation behaviour in South Africa, through various interventions such as clean-ups (beach or inland) and education programmes around PET recycling and milestones, etc.

9. Excellence in Academia

About the award: This category recognises the importance of having peer-reviewed research underpinning any strategic interventions into the broad areas of recycling, waste minimisation and/or sustainability.

Who should enter: Academics and researchers that are currently undertaking research into the topics of waste minimisation, plastic pollution, marine pollution, life cycle assessments etc., that demonstrates intellectual inquisitiveness, insight, and growth while providing sound strategic and practical applications for research outcomes.

10. Media Spotlight

About the award: This category recognises a journalist or media personality that has made an outstanding contribution to the awareness and understanding amongst South African consumers of issues pertaining to waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

Who should enter: Journalists or media personalities that is actively driving media attention for recycling and general sustainability issues.

11. Finding New Purpose for Plastic

About the award: In many of the far-flung, less urban areas of South Africa, recycling is often not economically feasible. This category looks to recognise a small business who, despite this, has been successful in repurposing PET plastic to contribute positively to their micro-economy and community through income generation, job creation and skills development, all while keeping PET plastic out of waste streams.
Who should enter: Co-op’s or individuals in small communities around SA who have repurposed PET to create a successful micro-enterprise within their area.

The PETCO Team