In its bi-annual awards to innovators and leaders in the plastic recycling industry, the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) named PalletPlast the overall winner in recognition of the fruit pallets the company has been manufacturing for less than a year (following years of research).
The fruit pallets are manufactured from recycled PET, incorporating a lot of plastic that wasn’t recycled before and taking 400 tonnes of plastic waste, primarily water and cooldrink bottles, from the South African waste stream at the moment.
Christopher Smith (PalletPlast), Johann Conradie (SAPRO chairperson) and Steph le Roux (PalletPlast)
“We’re a father-son team and winning this award against some the biggest names in the industry has been really humbling,” says Christopher Smith, PalletPlast director. “Winning the award for best newcomer, the engineering award and the overall award is confirmation that the product needs to get out there.”
He notes that there is a lot of pressure on the fruit industry’s plastic use as retailers start putting a magnifying glass to the amount of plastic that accompanies fresh produce in its world journey.
Some of South Africa’s major citrus and table grape exporters have started using PalletPlast’s recycled fruit pallet. The pallet is meant to be fed into a granulator and re-enter the plastic value chain in the destination country.
SAPRO is an organisation that represents plastic recyclers in order to promote plastic recycling as well as the use of and demand for recycled plastic in South Africa.