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Home ยป Waste-free Living ยป Recycling Stats in South Africa

Recycling Stats in South Africa

Did you know that as a country South Africa is doing pretty well when it comes to recycling plastic products. That said, the goal, for us, is not to recycle but to rather reduce so that recycling is the exception not the norm. The waste-pickers we have all over South Africa are probably largely responsible for this increase in plastic recycling. They have formed a growing industry that has created jobs and provides a useful service.

“Through the procurement of recyclables, an estimated R2.3-billion was injected into the South African economy in 2018.”

Recycling Stats in South Africa

  • South Africa recycled 46.3% of all plastic products in 2018. Europe only recycled 31.1%.
  • The tonnages recycled into raw materials saved enough barrels of oil to fuel 200 000 cars for one year, doing 30 000 km per annum.
  • South Africa currently recycles around 67% of all plastic PET bottles produced, This number has increased from 55% in 2016. 
  • 70% of all recyclable materials originate from landfills and other post-consumer sources.
  • Recycling companies in Gauteng handle 58% of all South Africa’s recyclate.
  • 70% of used steel beverage cans are recycled in South Africa.
  • 30% of used glass is recycled in South Africa.
  • Plastics recycling in SA saved 246 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions; the equivalent to the greenhouse gases produced by 51 200 vehicles.

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