Being green is a big trend globally, but are South Africans doing enough to make a positive difference to the
environment? The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC), our national body encouraging glass recycling,
discusses the factors impacting on recycling successes and trends in SA.
1. Entrepreneurship in Waste
Entrepreneurship is a key component in the success of glass recycling in terms of achieving the
sustainable recycling culture that is envisage for South Africa. For this reason, TGRC focusses on
supporting glass collection and recycling as a viable business model for the many thousands of
entrepreneurs and informal collectors we are proud to call our partners.
2. South African Recycling Legislation
Currently South Africa does not have punitive mandatory legislation in place which makes separation of
recyclables at source, (whereby recyclable packaging including glass, paper, metal and plastic is
separated from the waste stream) across homes, offices, restaurants and bars.
3. A world-leading Returnable Bottling System for South Africa
South Africa has one of the most efficient returnable bottle systems in the world thanks, in the part, to
the efforts of some of our country’s brand owners. The pleasing end result of South Africa’s highly
effective glass recycling and reuse programmes is that 82% of all glass packaging is prevented from
finding its way into our country’s landfills.
4. Green Education – Growing the next generation of glass recyclers
With the future of our country in the hands of our youth, it is vital to build enthusiasm amongst the youth
regarding recycling and green behaviours. We need to encourage young consumers to ‘recover, reuse
and recycle’. An impressive total in excess of 723 tons of glass was collected by the schools
participating in the latest Annual Schools Competition.