South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO)


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The South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) represents the plastics re-processors in South Africa. Its members procure sorted, baled end-of-life plastics and re-process it into raw material. The recycled material can be used to manufacture new plastics products. Recyclate can be used as a percentage of the final material mix and in some cases can even solely be used to produce new products. South Africa is amongst the top recycling countries in the world.

The Organisation is funded by its members and contracts the services of a part-time general manager to assist with the day to day running.

Our purpose as SAPRO is to assist recyclers in:

  • Building a recycling industry that is respected and acknowledged by government, industry and the general public.
  • Adressing our collective challenges in a constructive way.
  • Growing our industry and respective recycling initiatives and businesses  in volume, technology and profitability.
  • Presenting a united voice that influences external decision- making positively.
  • Continuing to have a positive impact on the environment to preserve and protect resources.

Plastics Recycling

Recyclable plastics scrap can be sourced from factory waste that cannot be used in the original products, post-industrial- or post-consumer sources. Interesting facts about plastics recycling in South Africa:

  • In 2016, 1.144 million tons of post-consumer plastic waste ended up in official waste streams.
  • South Africa Mechanically recycled 309 520 tons of plastics in 2016
  • Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60 watt bulb for up to six hours
  • Recycling one kg of polyethylene saves approximately 2 litres of crude oil and 1½ kg of CO2.
  • Although in 2016 41.8% plastics were recovered 0.667 million tons still went to landfill.
  • The average person generates 2,04 kg of rubbish every day – about ¾ tons of solid waste per year

Examples of the various categories are explained in the following table

Latest News

1302, 2019

Save the Date for The Recycled Plastic Product of the Year Awards-19 September 2019!

It’s that time again, when we host the Recycled Plastic Product of the Year Awards aimed at raising awareness and showcasing  the wide variety of ingenious products that are locally designed and manufactured using recycled [...]

1302, 2019

Book your place at the South African Design for Recycling Indaba

The D4RI will be hosted on 13 March 2019 as a part of the Propak Africa 2019 event. This event is being spearheaded by the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA) and the South African Plastics [...]

1302, 2019

Call for partners for the commitment to the co-development of a South African Plastics Pact

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), in collaboration with UN Environment, has launched an international New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to eliminate plastic waste at source. The Global Commitment has been signed by 250+ organisations, representing [...]

712, 2018

2018 Coastal Clean up results- clean sweep of our coasts!

This year’s International Coastal Cleanup report s now available for consumption- thank you to all who made this project such a success. 2018 RSA International Coastal Cleanup Report - Condensed version

712, 2018

Save the date-Design for Recycling Workshop: 13 March 2019!

We are excited to advise that SAPRO has partnered with WWF and Propak to host a Design for Recycling workshop on 13 March 2019 as a part of Propak Africa 2019- Africa’s largest packaging trade [...]

3110, 2018

SAPRO launches the South African Design for Recycling Indaba

We are excited to advise that SAPRO has partnered with WWF to launch the inaugural South African Design for Recycling Indaba. The Indaba builds on the shared vision of the partners to respond to the [...]