New statistics from recycling company Petco have revealed that more polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are being recycled than are sent to landfill, with about 4.7-million bottles recycled every day.
This resulted in 112 000 t of carbon emissions, as well as 461 000 m3 of landfill space, being saved.
Noting that South Africa was winning the battle of recycling plastic bottles, the company said 52% of post-consumer PET plastic bottles, or around 74 000 t, were collected for recycling last year.
This is expected to increase to 54% for 2016.
Meanwhile, Petco said that about 50 000 sustainable employment opportunities have been created, with R275-million having been invested in support of recycling projects.
About R1.2-billion was paid to PET collectors by recyclers with Petco playing a catalytic role by investing R1-billion in infrastructure development.
The organisation further facilitated R3.5-billion of value into the downstream economy.
CEO Cheri Scholtz said the company was delighted that, for the eleventh consecutive year, the post-consumer PET bottle-recycling rate had increased.
“Recycling PET bottles over the last 12 years has saved a total of 651 000 t of carbon [emissions] and avoided using 2.7-million cubic meters of landfill space,” she added.