The Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA), the 15-year-old paper recycling arm of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA), has a new name and identity: RecyclePaperZA.
“For the past few years, members of the public have increasingly confused us with the state-owned enterprise, Prasa,” explains PAMSA executive director Jane Molony. “We have often been asked about train services, or questioned why a rail agency would be involved in recycling.”
PAMSA recently initiated the name change process and invited submissions from its member companies. “The name was selected as it reflects a call to action,” explains Anele Sololo, manager for training, promotion and operations for RecyclePaperZA. “Incidentally, it also mirrors our website address www.recyclepaper.co.za, so it’s a perfect fit.”
Backed by the pay-off line “Paper recycled. Paper Renewed”, the newly named paper recycling association will continue to promote the recovery and recycling of paper fibre as a vital link in the renewability chain. Paper is a renewable product made from farmed trees.
All trees – natural or farmed – absorb carbon dioxide necessary for growth and store this as carbon. When commercially harvested wood is made into paper or other timber, fibre or cellulose-based products, the carbon remains locked up in the end product. Paper recycling ensures that this carbon remains out of the atmosphere for longer, while also providing an alternative fibre for paper manufacturers.
Formed in 2003, RecyclePaperZA represents companies that process recovered paper and make new paper products. It also represents some manufacturers of liquid board packaging in the form of milk and juice cartons, paper cups and bowls.
In 2017, South Africa’s paper recycling rate tipped the scales at 1.3 million tonnes. This tonnage represents 70% of the 1.8 million tonnes of paper, board and liquid packaging available for recovery. It excludes books, archived records, and unrecyclable paper like tissue products.
Recovered paper, paper packaging and liquid board packaging is diverted from landfill, pulped and re-used in corrugated boxes and cartonboard, newspapers and moulded products like egg boxes. To a smaller extent, paper is also recycled into tissue and paper towel products.
“Through our various programmes, we advocate improved paper recycling and efficient waste separation at businesses, homes and schools,” says Sololo.