Recycling champion awarded

Noordhoek resident and environmental manager of Plastics SA, John Kieser, during a beach clean-up.

A Noordhoek man has been named as one of the 2019 Western Cape recycling champions by PET Recycling Company (PETCO), a non-profit company set up by the country’s plastics indus-
try.

John Kieser, the environmental manager of Plastics SA in Cape Town, received the nomination in the CEO special award category.

Recycling champions are people and organisations making strides in sustainability at grassroots level across South Africa.

Mr Kieser is a conservationist with a specific interest in marine debris pollution. He leads beach and community clean-ups across South Africa.

“I started seeing that plastic was a growing problem 20 years ago, and, after resigning from my previous governmental role, was asked by the Plastics Federation to carry on with my work on plastic pollution.”

Mr Kieser said the nomination had been a morale boost.

“We all need an indication that we are doing the right thing as sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we are actually making a difference. For me, the critical part is showing poor people that plastics have value and there are places you can take it to for a return in money. To see them grow in their search and work in this field is very heart-warming,” he said.

According to PETCO’s website, 98 649 tons of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles were recycled in South Africa last year, saving 612 000 cubic metres of landfill space and lessening the country’s carbon emissions footprint by 148 000 tons.

According to PETCO, this represents a 6% increase on the 2017 figures of 93 235 tons of PET bottles recycled.

For more information about PETCO and the 2019 Western Cape recycling champions, visit www.petco.co.za