Environmetally aware consumers will be delighted to learn that PETCO (PET Recycling Company (Pty) Ltd), the plastics industry’s first joint initiative to self-regulate post consumer PET recycling, has unveiled a billboard campaign designed to encourage consumers to actively participate in PET recovery and recycling.
Situated in several locations in Gauteng which are close to PET and plastics drop-off centres, the billboards alert consumers that PET beverage bottles are 100% recyclable. PET bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate or PET, which is tough, resilient and 100% recyclable. PET bottles can be recognised by the recycling logo found underneath the bottles: an identification logo in the form of a triangle with a number 1 inside it to denote PET. PET is the plastic used to produce carbonated soft drink and mineral water (beverage) bottles. It is also used to produce plastic jars, containers, trays and clamshell packages.
“PET is the material of choice for a growing number of bottlers and in many respects PET is one of the miracle packaging materials of the last century. Its versatility is astounding. It’s economical and its low mass and shatter-resistance are just some of the benefits driving the industry’s adoption of PET,’ says Cheri Scholtz, acting GM for PETCO.
“As consumers are becoming more environmentally aware, we felt the time was right to build awareness that PET is fully recyclable and to point them towards existing drop-off centres, from which empty PET bottles are collected and sent to recyclers,’ says Scholtz. She adds that PETCO is working towards establishing consumer call to action – just as people are pre-disposed to sort their paper and aluminium can waste for recycling, they should extend their actions to include PET.
Discarded PET bottles are collected, baled and delivered to the recycling plant where they are colour sorted, washed, granulated, re-washed, extruded (made into long thin strips of plastic) and cut into pellets, before being recycled into a number of items we encounter every day, such as, fibre filling for jackets, duvets and pillows, non-woven automotive carpets, magnetic strips on smart cards or tennis ball felt. There are well-established markets for recycled PET or rPET, and demand currently exceeds supply.
Brand logos of PETCO’s members who finance the company via recycling levies and grant-in-aid have been included on the billboard.