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The Reproplast Collective Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme Explained

Reproplast was established in 1995 by two people with one dream – to sustain the livelihoods of South Africans and positively impact our beautiful country through the recycling of plastic waste.

This dream continues with the formalisation of the Reproplast Collective Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme, which shares in the commitment of leaving a lasting impact on the people of South Africa and part of an exciting shift to a more sustainable way of doing business by creating a circular economy.

A circular economy is designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment by keeping materials in use rather than taking a natural resource, turning it into a product, and then discarding it as waste.

Moving towards a more circular economy extends the product life cycle, which stimulates innovation, boosts economic growth, creates jobs, and ultimately reduces pressure on our environment.

Extended Producer Responsibility, or EPR, is a global shift in policy under which producers are given significant responsibility for treating post-consumer waste.

In South Africa, these regulations came into effect on the 5th of November 2021. As a leading producer of rigid polyolefin-based packaging for leading consumer brands in South Africa, our producers are responsible, compliant and ready for the challenge.

The regulations extend a producer’s responsibility for its products to the end of its life cycle by collecting and recycling a stipulated percentage of the packaging it produces through either establishing and implementing an EPR Scheme; joining one; or appointing a PRO to establish and implement one.

We’ve always been advocates for the use of rigid polyolefin packaging, and as such, have been on the journey of shifting focus to post-consumer waste for years. We have created our own circular economy through the Reproplast Collective EPR Scheme.

We’ve done thorough global research and are implementing the very best innovation. In fact, our journey has taken us to 10 different countries, allowing us to physically study the best circular economy innovation in the world. Along the way, we’ve developed long-term partnerships that will support our innovation efforts in the future.

Closely aligned to Nedbank’s sustainability goals, the financial institution has backed Reproplast for years and is particularly excited about new investments into post-consumer waste recycling.

The Reproplast Collective EPR Scheme will, through the direct investment of each producer, of their time and resources, reduce the amount of post-consumer rigid polyolefin packaging in the environment and maximise recycling and production efficiency.

The Reproplast EPR Scheme aims to empower South Africans by initiating, co-ordinating, and partnering with local waste collection networks that tie into our world-class recycling.

Waste collection is a big focus, as it’s the area where we believe we can make the greatest social and environmental impact. The core principle is for the Scheme to identify and add value to polyolefin waste streams through consumer education and production efficiency – the value we create must then flow back up the supply chain to individual collectors to support and sustain thousands of people who, in turn, reinforce this circular economy. This principle is the key to achieving a balance of Social, Economic and Environmental value.

In parallel to waste collection, our producers and their customers are developing high-value products that create demand for Reproplast’s high-quality polymers.

A working example of Scheme collaboration is leading brand owners in the paint sector who have already switched to packaging made from majority recycled polymers. This is made possible through our producers’ innovative technology using recycled polymers from Reproplast.

The Reproplast Collective EPR Scheme is an inclusive approach, where all stakeholders benefit and work together with a shared commitment to leaving a lasting impact on the people of South Africa.

Our goal is to grow a community of like-minded stakeholders passionately engaged in sustainability benefits and to create an uplifting, positive and collaborative environment that encourages and inspires change. Through each Scheme participant’s direct time and resource investment, we can materially and meaningfully reduce the amount of post-consumer rigid packaging in the environment

By creating a collaborative Scheme, that maintains a balance of Social, Economic and Environmental value, we can take responsibility for our products, advocate for rigid polyolefins and change the lives of thousands of South Africans.

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