Manufacturer launches innovative green approach with 100% recyclable plastic sanitisers
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Cape Town - With the increased pressure on manufacturers and retailers to eliminate single-use plastic from supply chains and adopt a circular economy, Infection Protection Products and Sani-touch with support from the Shoprite Group launched its innovative new green approach to manufacturing with 100% recyclable products at the V&A Waterfront on Tuesday morning.
While you might not have recognised its impact before, if you’ve visited any Shoprite, Checkers or U-Save branches since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic then you’ve probably made use of the Sani-wipes offered at their entry points for the protection of trolleys and baskets when grocery shopping.
With increased use of pre-saturated wipes during the pandemic, Sani-touch marketing director Annette Devenish said it was incumbent on manufacturers to ensure their used wipes were recycled and repurposed in a circular economy, especially considering most of these wipes and masks usually ended up in landfills and in the ocean.
Devenish said their wipes were made of locally sourced polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide range of applications, and was 100% recyclable.
“For a while now plastic has been getting a bad rap. However, it’s a very different picture when plastic products are recycled and repurposed, effectively becoming part of a closed loop in a circular economy,” said Devenish.
Shoprite Holdings group sustainability manager Sanjeev Raghubir said their role was to connect the dots in Sani-Touch’s green approach as there were products that were recyclable and then there were recyclables that were willing to recycle the product but a middleman that important middle bit that connected the two.
“What the Shoprite Group was able to do, through its Shoprite, Checkers and U-Save stores, was to have a receptacle so that once the consumer has used the wipes they can dispose of them in the receptacle and then we are able to bring that recyclable material to our distribution centres and then to the recyclables,” said Raghubir.
UCT’s Professor Peter Ryan highlighted the Sani-touch’s proactive compliance to the country’s recently amended extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations for paper, packaging, e-waste and lighting that aimed to ensure producers take responsibility for the life-cycle of the products they put into the market.
“It’s great to have two of the key players in the value chain here, the producers and the retailers – but the cycle does not stop there.
“We have got to get buy-in from the consumers and the local authorities also have a role to play, to make it as easy as possible for these kinds of initiatives to happen, reduce the burden on landfills and not make it difficult for people to recycle things.
“We face this incredible crisis in this country where we are drowning in our waste,” said Ryan.