The Polyolefin Recycling Company NPC, trading as POLYCO, is a not-for- profit industry body that was established in 2011 to focus on reducing the amount of polyolefin waste going to landfill by increasing the sustainable collection, recycling, recovery and beneficiation of polyolefin plastics.

POLYCO aims to minimise the environmental impact of post-consumer polyolefins on the South African landscape by:

    • Achieving sustainable growth in Polyolefin plastic recycling
    • Supporting existing and encouraging new polyolefin collection and recycling networks
    • Promoting consumer education and awareness programmes

Polyolefin materials are used in consumer goods, structural plastics, food packaging and industrial products and are therefore known as one of the ‘commodity thermoplastics.’ Read more about their nature and manufacture here.

These polyolefins are classified as low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). More details about these materials here.

POLYCO is funded by means of a voluntary recycling levy from its member organisations  that are the polyolefin packaging converters in South Africa. The polyolefin plastics industry in South Africa is demonstrating that it is capable of meeting government’s environmental expectations, in line with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) principles. EPR requires industries to become active in recycling the products they produce as per the new Industry Waste Management Act (IWMP).  Click here to see Government Gazette 11 August 2016.

POLYCO’s existence demonstrates the industry’s practical and systematic commitment to sustainable development, as well as to the national policies of waste management, minimisation and recycling. In essence, it is the practical result of an integrated approach that sees post-consumer packaging as a valuable resource rather than waste, and its reuse as an integral part of how a sustainable, circular economy works.

Among others, recycling polyolefin material helps to save natural resources, limits the need for landfill space and also provides sustainable income opportunities. It is the green and circular economy at work.



Below are some of the leading organisations in recycling in South Africa. Click on the logos to take you to their websites for comprehensive information about their activities.