Recycling initiative prioritises sustainability, promotes economic growth

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Manufacturer Ardagh Glass Packaging’s money4glass initiative – launched in July 2023 – has yielded positive results.

From August 2023 to January this year, the company’s glass recycling depot at its Clayville facility, in Gauteng, received cullet tonnage close to 278 000, of which 35%, or 97 050 t, was transacted on money4glass.

In the Western Cape, at the company’s Bellville facility, total cullet tonnage received was 50 848, with 12.7% of this transacted on money4glass.

“There is, however, still plenty of room for growth, and we’d like to remind glass recyclers of the compelling incentives available on the money4glass programme. There are several incentives and subsidies that can be paid to qualifying recyclers to help drive growth in glass recycling in South Africa,” says Ardagh Glass Packaging– Africa supply chain executive Thomas Shaw.

Aimed at driving growth in glass recycling and empowering glass recyclers, the inclusive programme has three levels – Level 1 glass recyclers who typically handle more than 10 t a month; Level 2 glass recyclers who recycle smaller loads and sell to Level 1; and informal traders who typically make up Level 3.

Money4glass uses BanQu technology, a Web-based platform that makes the processes in the glass recycling value chain more transparent, efficient and equitable.

“Initiating a new way of work for glass recyclers was never going to be an easy task, but we are pleased with the progress so far. The transition to a digital platform has proven to be remarkably smooth and many South African glass recyclers have embraced this innovative approach. The ease of working on the digital platform has significantly contributed to the adoption of this new way of working, as has the efficient nature of the platform,” says Shaw.

In 2021, the South African government enacted the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation – a producer-focused mechanism that aims to reduce waste by ensuring that producers of products take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products and packaging.

The intention is to increase recycling, thus decreasing dependency on new raw materials, and to ensure the effective and efficient management of end-of-life products.

The BanQu technology used by money4glass will assist Ardagh to collate data that can be used for EPR plan audits, while at the same time reducing the risk of fraud, driving both recycling and transformation in the glass recycling industry.

“We are pleased to add that during this half-year period, the incentives paid by our industry – Ardagh Glass Packaging & The Glass Recycling Company –  amounted to almost R5-million in Gauteng and just over R1-million in the Western Cape. This proves that prioritising sustainability not only benefits the environment but also grows the economy.”

Sifiso Ngobese, owner of Unconventional Waste Solutions in Germiston, Gauteng, says his business has grown from using one truck in 2012 to the point of soon buying a third truck. Since joining money4glass, he has seen growth in tonnage from 150 t to 500 t.

“Our business focuses on recycling glass thanks to the many benefits offered through the money4glass initiative. One of the biggest benefits is that the price paid for glass increases with volume; the more we collect, the more we can earn.

“Glass recycling is also growing nicely for our business compared to other recyclables, mostly because of the incentives we can earn on money4glass,” adds Emalahleni-based recycling business Mihula Holdings CEO Amilia Mkhonza.

“We are excited about the ongoing progress and the array of opportunities that money4glass offers the glass recycling community. We appeal to all levels of glass recyclers to join and become part of the solution. We look forward to witnessing the growth of money4glass as it paves the way for a greener future,” concludes Shaw. 

Originally published in Engineering News

About TGRC:
The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) consists of a team dedicated to increasing glass recycling in South Africa. We are passionate about ensuring every South African realises the value of recycling glass and actively embraces this practice.

We strive to educate, enable, encourage and inspire individuals to separate their glass for recycling, but do not physically collect or recycle the glass. Our focus extends beyond consumers and communities, but also on trade, industry and corporate South Africa. We also aim to uplift impoverished communities by creating income generating opportunities and skills development in the recycling sector. TGRC is funded by our committed members who manufacture glass or package their products in glass. We believe in the infinite potential of glass to make a real and positive contribution to society. At TGRC we are committed to show that glass recycling is worth the effort!

TGRC’s mandate is to increase awareness of glass recycling in South Africa. The team are passionate about ensuring every South African realises the value of recycling glass and actively embraces this practice. TGRC believes in the infinite potential of glass to make a real and positive contribution to society. TGRC is committed to prove that glass recycling is worth the effort! For info visit  like the Facebook page:  or