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Packaging, processing, printing industry leaders gather in thousands for Propak Cape

Held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 24-26 October, the Propak Cape expo attracted just under 6,000 visitors keen to learn about latest technologies and innovations in packaging and related industries.

This year’s theme focussed on sustainability, which is very pertinent given the Western Cape’s current drought situation,” says Smit. “The sustainability of packaging has never been more important and local packaging companies are investing in research and development to develop new eco-friendly materials that can be recycled, but remain sturdy and temperature resistant. We wanted to highlight the various industry initiatives that have been successfully implemented by the sector’s Producer Responsibility Organisations by incorporating a sustainability pavilion at Propak Cape. Using the sustainability pavilion as a platform, an amount of R45,000 was raised through corporates and individuals pledging funds towards a much-needed seabird hospital at Sanccob’s Cape Town premises.”

South Africa’s leading associations support these sustainability initiatives and the Institute of Packaging South Africa, Plastics SA, Printing SA, Packaging SA and the South African National Bottled Water Association exhibited at Propak Cape.

Douw Steyn, sustainability director at Plastics SA, was one of the many speakers at the event’s free-to-attend seminars. His talk provided an overview of what the South African plastics industry is doing to design better packaging, increase recycling rates, and introduce new models for making better use for a circular plastics economy.

“Plastic is here to stay,” says Steyn. “It’s all around us in our everyday lives. But a lot of work is being done especially in packaging around what materials we should use, how it’s produced, what is its usability and what impact it has on the environment. Recycling and sustainability are key to the industry going forward.”

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