JOHANNESBURG, The South African government is looking at long-term interventions which will help to significantly transform the waste sector to the extent which enables it to make a significant contribution to the growth of the secondary materials economy, thus creating jobs at every level and supporting industrial efficiencies, says Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

As you know, the government is committed to finding alternative and innovative ways to divert waste away from the landfill sites and convert it to valuable resources. This commitment is also echoed in the National Development Plan (NDP), she said at the launch of the Mpact Liquid Packaging plant in Ekurhuleni near here.

The Mpact Group’s liquid packaging recycling plant will recycle approximately 25.000 tonnes per year of liquid packaging products, poly coated cups and cartons and wet strength bags and packaging, thereby saving 65,240 cubic metres of landfill space and reduce approximately 11,400 tonnes of carbon emission per annum. The plant will also create six direct jobs and 500 indirect employment opportunities in the collection of recyclables.

It is important to note that government need the society and industry to ensure sustainable materials management. The recycling of waste remains a significant part of the manufacturing sector,” said Molewa.

We therefore need to work together towards ensuring that the waste material finds its way back into the manufacturing chain so as to advance our commitment to circular economy and employment creation interventions, particularly within the green economy space.”

Molewa called on other companies operating in the packaging industry to follow the example of Mpact Group and ensure their waste is recycled. I also want to challenge the sector as a whole to support and strengthen the recyclable collection part of the value-chain.”