Tufflex Plastics Products has become the first plastics recycler in South Africa to sign the Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS) pledge – an international stewardship programme designed to prevent the loss of plastic resin, pellets, flakes, and powders and ensuring that this material is kept out of the marine environment.
Over the past 26 years, Tufflex has built a reputation for being one of the country’s most successful plastics recyclers. The company’s raw material division supplies recycled polymers to a large section of the local plastics industry and offers a toll recycling service to converters. It also manufactures products such as railway sleepers, furniture, dustbins, decking for walkways and pallets from re-cycled domestic and industrial plastics.
“Recyclers play an integral part in the plastics value chain and therefore have the same responsibility as all other stakeholders to ensure that there is minimal leakage and spillage of granules and other unnecessary waste into the environment. Tufflex remains committed to being a responsible and environmentally conscious player within the plastics sector”.
Charles Muller, CEO, Tufflex
Plastics SA is the official licensee of OCS in SA and signed the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter in March 2011. The company’s Sustainability Director, Douw Steyn, applauded Tufflex for joining other global plastic leaders by making this public commitment. He officiated the signing ceremony at the company’s factory in Germiston on the 9th of February 2021.
“It is encouraging to see yet another major player in our industry take such a bold step to help us prevent plastic leakage into our country’s waterways, estuaries and eventually the ocean. These small pieces of plastics can easily be mistaken for food by birds or marine animals”, Steyn says.
As part of Plastics SA’s OCS implementation plan, they provide signature companies with a manual and detailed toolkit that guides them to safe and environmentally-responsible manufacturing processes and daily operations. Other local signatories of the pledge include Polyoak Packaging, Sasol, Safripol, Berry Astrapak, as well as the various plastics Producer Responsibility Organisations, e.g. PETCO, Polyco, the Southern African Vinyls Association, SAPPMA (SA Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association) and Polystyrene Association of SA.
“Our management team and employees all feel equally passionate about keeping our environmental footprint as small as possible by managing the polymers we use responsibly and preventing any accidental release into the environment. However, we need as many companies as possible to join us in this charge. We challenge all other plastics recyclers to also take the OCS pledge – it quite simply is the right thing to do!” Charles concludes.