A unique recycling business, ‘Packa-Ching’, has seen community residents across South Africa making an income by selling their used recyclable packaging, shifting a change in behaviour towards packaging waste and cleaning up the environment. Due to the success of the first Packa-Ching unit in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM), a second unit was launched in April.
Packa-Ching is a mobile separation-at-source recycling service. It consists of a recycling collection truck and trailer that parks at different collection points within a community for a few hours each week and collects used recyclable packaging material from community members and then pays them for it. In this way, Packa-Ching educates the public about the income-producing opportunities that recycling offers. Packa-Ching was founded by the the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco) and is sponsored by Shoprite and Sasol.
The first Packa-Ching unit was introduced to Buffalo City Metro in association with DNF Waste & Environmental Services on the 1st April 2019. This current unit services areas such as Duncan Village, Mdantsane, Beacon Bay, Gonubie, Braelyn, Amalinda Forest, North End, Pefferville and Parkside. Community members exchange their recyclable waste, such as plastic, paper, cardboard, tin, and glass for eVouchers that can be redeemed for cash or spent at various outlets across BCMM.
The amount of recyclable waste collected from members of the community and schools by the first East London Packa-Ching unit, since its launch in 2019, is 1 093 380 kg, resulting in R582 142 having been paid out to local Packa-Ching users. “We are delighted by the impact of our first Packa-ching unit which has positively influenced the community at large, especially the income generating opportunity created for so many unemployed people,” says Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman, Founder & Director of DNF Waste & Environmental Services.
The overwhelmingly positive response from the BCMM community has necessitated the need to launch the second Packa-Ching unit. This launch will be held on the 16th of April 2021 in Orange Grove township. With this unit many more areas will be covered such as Orange Gove, Greenfields, Westbank, Cintsa, Qonce as well as schools in the area.
“By incentivising a change in behaviour and shifting the perception of recyclable packaging waste, Packa-Ching is cleaning up the environment and uplifting the communities in which it operates. The various Packa-Ching units have so far collectively paid out over R2 million to Packa-Ching users and collected over 2.5 million kg’s of recyclable packaging material. Polyco is proud to have founded Packa-Ching and we are excited by our goal of growing Packa-Ching to a total of 25 units operating across South Africa within the next four years.” says Megan Swart, Packa-Ching Operations Manager at Polyco.
“We’ve already seen the positive impact of this programme on local communities – both for those generating an income from recyclables, and for those employed by it. We’re confident that this new unit in East London will increase our reach and impact even further by promoting recycling and removing waste from our communities,” says Sanjeev Raghubir, the Shoprite Group’s Sustainability Manager.
“Our congratulations to DNF on their hard work and past success resulting in DNF earning a second Packa-Ching unit. This additional unit will contribute towards even greater collection of recyclable materials whilst simultaneously creating economic opportunities for the local community. Sasol is committed to preventing plastic waste leakage into the environment and we believe Polyco’s Packa-Ching social enterprise business model has the potential to contribute meaningfully towards this goal. We wish you further success,” says Kelley McGurk, Sasol’s Senior Manager Strategy & Sustainability.
For more information, please visit www.packaching.co.za or contact Deidre from DNF Waste & Environmental Services 083 252 9102 or Megan Swart from Polyco 0627336285.