PETCO (PET Recycling Company NPC) was established in 2004 as an industry-driven and financed national recycling initiative. Its aim is to represent the South African PET plastic industry’s joint effort to self-regulate post-consumer PET recycling.
“PET” is the acronym for a versatile, sophisticated plastic called Polyethylene Terephthalate, which is used to make the most common container in the soft drink market today: the plastic bottle. PET is globally recognised as a safe, recyclable packaging material for food and non-food products. It is used for a wide variety of applications because it is safe, strong, shatterproof and chemically 100% recyclable into various PET products (such as fibre for duvets and pillows) and bottles, when basic design principles are followed.
Although the PET plastics industry acknowledges the convenience and life-saving qualities of plastics, a solution for post-consumer plastic packaging is critical in order to minimise its impact on the environment. PETCO views itself as a catalyst of design for recycling innovation, preserving the value of existing resources and utilising recycled PET in more and more applications.
PETCO estimates that more than 64 000 income opportunities are created every year through PET bottle recycling for small and micro-collectors. Plastic and other pollution are some of the biggest challenges currently facing the planet and the accumulation of plastic waste and other debris on land and its leakage into the sea is a growing, costly problem. Through PETCO and its members, 5.9 million bottles were collected for recycling every day in 2019, keeping them out of the environment and ocean where they do not belong.
The company raises awareness for the plastic pollution crisis by being involved in various ocean-conscious events such as the African Marine Network conference, and educating the public on the need for a circular economy.”