• Staff writer


Under the campaign name ‘Recycling in the Bag”, Fibre Circle, an organisation for the paper sector, teamed up with Detpak and Remade Recycling in order to show recycling collectors that paper grocery bags and brown take-away food bags can be collected from households and sold with their wastepaper collections.

The circular waste economy is a network of collectors, buyers and processors, using recyclables such as wastepaper to make new products. Every year in South Africa, more than a million tons of paper and paper packaging are recovered and recycled into new products, which in turn can be recycled again – in many cases up to 25 times.

Paper recycling is largely based on different grades of paper and for waste collectors who sell recyclables to a buy-back centre or recycling facility, the type of paper – and the value they get for it – is significant. It is also important for grades to be separated and baled together as they form the ingredients for the paper products into which they will be recycled. Old cardboard boxes and paper bags, for example, are re-pulped into other paper types and these will become new carboard boxes and paper bags, continuing the cycle.

Used white paper is recycled into tissue products and some paper grades are recycled into household packaging such as match boxes, tooth paste and cereal boxes.

Paper bags are now synonymous with suburban and city-based grocery deliveries after Covid kept many people away from supermarkets. Detpak felt that it was important to close the loop with the production and recycling of paper bags. If you are not recycling yet, start by simply putting out cardboard boxes, pizza boxes, grocery bags and other similar packaging onto your pavement for recycling collectors.


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