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Latest recycling stats for South Africa

South Africa’s waste management industry is currently worth around ZAR 25 billion (EUR 1.4 billion), new market data suggests. The nation recycles over 70% of used steel beverage cans while the rates for glass and plastic packaging are 40.6% and 30% respectively.

South Africa sends around 95 million tonnes of waste to its 826 landfill sites and less than 40% of the materials are recycled, according to analysts at Research & Markets. Additionally, the nation produces upwards of 65 million tonnes of hazardous waste, of which only 6% is recycled.

Plastics recycling in South Africa ‘continues to grow’, with more than 330 700 tonnes recycled annually. In fact, the average recycling rate for plastics exceeds 43%, which the analysts note is higher than the 31% figure for Europe.

There are more than 4 000 glass collection points in South Africa which is home to 32 dedicated Collect-A-Can companies. These jointly collect 72% of all beverage cans and recovered more than 75% of all metal packaging last year.

Meanwhile, South Africa generates approximately 350 000 tonnes of electronic scrap annually of which only about 35 000 tonnes are recycled.

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