Second Annual Green Dialogue

TGRC’s Second Annual Green Dialogue Looks Towards a Green Future for Business

May 27th saw the custodian for glass recycling in South Africa, The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) stage its eighth AGM and second annual Green Dialogue (#GreenDialogue) in Sandton, Johannesburg. The tone of the meeting was exceedingly positive as TGRC celebrated yet another increase in South Africa’s glass recycling rate to 40.9% for the year 2013/2014. With that said the pressing need to engage in environmentally sustainable business practices remained high on the agenda for all participants and stakeholders concerned.

The Sustainability Revolution

Speaker and environmental capitalist, Jason Drew gave guests an enlightened view on the sustainability revolution, which he believes has taken over from the industrial era and has ushered in a new “operating code” for doing business around the world. “Our business mind-set, which heretofore has been defined by ‘extracting, manufacturing and throwing-away’, is now being replaced by the production of consumables that are ‘reparable, upgradable, recyclable, sharable and durable,” explained Drew.

According to Drew an entirely new business model is coming into play, which sees manufacturers making profits up to three-times over on single items, such as washing machines and protective clothing. “Green and ethical practices, which see large-scale corporates such as the likes of Marks & Spencer urging consumers to return unwanted clothing for a discount, is fast becoming the only way to do business in our resource-constrained world,” he explained.

Repairing our Broken Future

Drew highlighted the need “to repair our broken future” and added that he believes we are winning the battle when it comes to glass. This is indeed the case and with over a billion bottles recycled in the past year, along with the year-on-year growth achieved in the glass recycling rate, it’s clear that glass in all its goodness is set to remain a key and sustainable packaging solution for all.

TGRC CEO, Shabeer Jhetam supported this finding during his presentation in which he highlighted the fact that as a nation, we continue to hold our own on the global diversion from landfill stage. “With 3 billion bottles entering the South African market annually; 2.4 million are diverted from landfill, due to a combination of the reuse of returnable bottles, as well as glass being recycled. This means that an incredible 80% of all glass packaging used in the country annually, is prevented from entering landfills, through both recycling and the use of returnable bottles, which is better than any other packaging type in the industry. South Africa has one of the most sophisticated returnable systems in the world, by reusing glass packaging, carbon emissions are reduced significantly. Furthermore, the weight of glass has been reduced by 50% over the last 30 years, and more than 225 000 tons of CO2 emissions have been saved for the year,” said Jhetam.

Having a Heart for Glass

Much of Jhetam’s presentation was also focused on the successful rebranding of TGRC, which has enabled the glass custodians to reach a growing number of consumers in their drive to educate and inspire all South Africans to recycle bottles, jars and other glass products. “Our logo calls upon all South Africans to have a ‘heart’ for glass and is indicative of our passion for the act of recycling and its far-reaching benefits to our country from an environmental and economic perspective.  We are committed to bringing a greener, cleaner country to the next generation, and our aim is to educate and encourage all citizens to reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Jhetam.


Solving the Planet’s Problems

The proceedings for the day were concluded by television show, 50/50 producer and presenter, Ntokozo Mbuli, who called upon all South Africans to “do what we can with what we have” and “to solve people’s problems by solving the planet’s problems”.
The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) is certainly playing its part as was revealed during the AGM. In eight short years the company has become firmly entrenched as South Africa’s national organisation promoting the recycling of glass. Since its inception in 2006, TGRC has successfully increased the glass recycling rate from 18% to 40.9% ensuring that through its efforts The Glass Recycling Company, with the help of its stakeholders and South Africa’s consumers, is helping to repair our broken future