In a growing industry shift towards sustainable packaging and product design, one of South Africa’s largest manufacturers of wood-based products, PG Bison, has decided to use only locally sourced and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) strapping. According to PG Bison’s chief executive officer, Gerhard Victor, the company uses 9.1 million metres of plastic strapping per annum to bind its wooden surfacing and decorative panel products, with the recycled rPET material set to divert the equivalent of five million post-consumer plastic bottles or 115 tonnes of PET from landfills every year.
Instead of importing its signature green strapping from Italy, Victor said PG Bison would now source the local equivalent from Cape Town-based supplier Propet, which uses locally sourced post-consumer PET bottles in its manufacturing process. PET Recycling Company (PETCO) chief executive Cheri Scholtz said the move was a boon for keeping plastic waste out of the environment. She said it was encouraging that industry was starting to see the bigger vision and economic value inherent in the recycling of PET.
“What is exciting about rPET strapping is that it can be made from green plastic bottles, which have had a limited end-use market to date. As other manufacturers make the switch to locally sourced rPET strapping, like PG Bison has done, we’ll be able to make better use of coloured plastic and grow our overall recycling rates even further,” said Scholtz.
Victor said recycled strapping now conformed to stringent technical specifications, such as high tensile strength, and, most importantly, maintained the product stack integrity during handling and transportation.