SA Recycling Week- Businesses need to implement positive change

South Africa (SA) Recycling Week is just around the corner, 10 - 15 September 2014, and not only is it important for every person to do their part in helping to look after the environment, but businesses also need to lead by example. It is business’ responsibility to instil in their staff a sense of environmental responsibility which extends further than just SA Recycling Week.      

Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev – local bottler of The Coca-Cola Company’s products in the Western and Northern Cape) has embraced the importance of recycling in a business environment. This is evident in the fact that 97.2% of all waste gets recycled at their bottling plant, and that there are several other sustainable change initiatives that have been set in motion.  

PenBev’s state-of-the art bottling facility in Parow Industria, Cape Town is where all the magic happens. This factory provides the Western and Northern Cape communities with all their favourite beverages. Here, PenBev conforms to Coca-Cola’s standards, South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and legislation requirements, as well as following their own strict environmental guidelines.

General waste minimisation is an important factor in the bottling plant’s overall sustainability spectrum. “At PenBev, sustainability is vital in our daily operations. We continuously research and implement waste management improvements where possible,” says Johan Breytenbach, Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Manager at PenBev.

PenBev’s recycling streams include folded cardboard for reuse, cardboard and paper waste, glass, wood, scrap metal, plastic and ash. In order to make recycling as simple and efficient as possible on site, there are colour-coded recycling bin systems placed around the facility. These allow the PenBev staff to implement the key task of waste separation at source. In addition, the beverage manufacturing giant has a host of recyclers, ranging from small entrepreneurial ventures to big recycling businesses, which it supports through waste collection. Thanks to all of these steps, reduction in waste to landfill from the PenBev facility, between 2010 and 2013, is an impressive 38.4%.

When it comes to water sustainability at the bottling plant, one of the main focus areas is to replenish water - essentially, to give back the same amount that the business is using. This falls under The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which is providing an investment of US$30-million over six years (2010 to 2015) to water projects in Africa. RAIN aims to provide over two million people in Africa with access to clean water by the end of 2015.

Another main focus at PenBev is to conserve water during the production process. “We track the water use and also identify main contributors to water waste to successfully implement water saving methods. Some of the water is also recycled, which is then used for general cleaning purposes,” says Breytenbach. PenBev currently boasts a staggering 48.7% reduction in water waste over the past ten years.

Water conservation is not the only recycling initiative at PenBev. “Energy usage is of course also very important. We look at coal, electricity and fuel when it comes to energy reduction. When taking fuel into consideration, we actively look at optimising distribution networks, purchasing fuel-efficient trucks, as well as looking at the design of truck trailers,” explained Breytenbach. Reduction in energy usage, which consists of electricity, coal and fuel, over the last six years is an impressive 33.3%.

Environmental awareness is also promoted extensively at the bottling plant. Captivating posters depicting the importance of recycling and reducing waste can be found throughout the facility. “It is imperative for our staff to take action and to recycle wherever possible. We also have a monthly water and energy review to identify opportunities where and how we can reduce waste,” concludes Breytenbach.

For more information about Peninsula Beverages, visit contact 021 936 5500. PenBev is also on Facebook:


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Lisa Sharland
Mobile: 076 373 4602