Extra-large PET volumes purchased by Extrupet

Extra-large PET volumes purchased by Extrupet
04 Aug 2020

Extra-large PET volumes purchased by Extrupet

In a time when we can all use some good news, PETCO’s PET bottle-to-bottle recycling partner, Extrupet, reported purchasing a whopping 3,000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles in May and June this year.

This is significant because cold beverage consumption usually drops during the winter months and, according to Extrupet, a good figure under normal circumstances would be 2,500 tonnes at this time of year. It is particularly important in light of the economic impact of Covid-19 and the resulting national lockdown.

As the producer responsibility organisation for the sector, PETCO believes these volumes are a clear reflection of the PET industry’s commitment to:

  • Supporting the government’s objectives and proposed sector targets (as per the recently gazetted Section 18 notices) for eliminating waste to landfill.
  • Keeping the recycling value chain moving through PETCO’s members and demonstrating the resilience of the PETCO model. This is in spite of tough global economic conditions, which see recycled PET struggling to compete against low prices for virgin polymer.

Extrupet joint managing director Chandru Wadhwani said the arrival of Covid-19 on South African shores had initially caused a dramatic decline in the tonnages purchased, as collectors and smaller buy-back centres were forced to stop operating under Level 5 lockdown restrictions.

“But it has now increased significantly, most likely as a result of a growing dependency on PET versus other collectables like glass, which are very quiet at the moment,” said Wadhwani.

He said PETCO had helped greatly in achieving the recent purchase of 3,000 tonnes of post-consumer PET, as the recycling value chain re-opened for business.

“We opened our doors, took on some extra space and let the flood in. PETCO assisted with getting the message out to the collectors that we were once again open for business and were keen to make up for lost volumes during the Level 5 lockdown.”

As a registered essential services supplier to the food and beverage industry, Wadhwani said Extrupet felt a strong sense of responsibility to keep the PET value chain moving during the Covid-19 crisis.

“It really was a case of a duty for PETCO and us to resuscitate collections and ensure cash and value flowed down to the reclaimers during this unprecedented time.

“It certainly has motivated us to try and achieve more going forward to assist the pickers (informal reclaimers) in recovering lost income.”