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Africa bouncing back from pandemic, investments follow

Plastic Industry S.A. is investing EUR 6 million to build a new industrial-scale plastic recycling plant on the island of Santiago.

The new site will create 25 jobs and form a hub to produce, recycle and market plastic products, according to Cabo Verde Tradeinvest, an agency that promotes attracting investment to the archipelago.

Production will be directed at supplying the agriculture, construction, food and gardening sectors, with the national market as its main target. The recycler plans to export a large share of its its recycled plastics to the sub-regional in West African, Cabo Verde Tradeinvest points out.

A total of 1.9 million tonnes of polymer were converted into new plastics products this fiscal year, reveals company executive director Anton Hanekom. He notes that Africa’s plastics manufacturing and recycling industries grew by 4.7% in 2021, indicating a ‘welcome recovery’ from the Covid pandemic.

This represents the total amount of polymers produced locally, net imported polymers, and recycled polymers sold locally by converters. ‘Locally recycled polymer made up 21.7% of virgin consumption, up from 20.6% in 2020,’ Hanekom adds. ‘This growth is consistent with the country’s 4.9% growth in Gross Domestic Product during the same period.’

He goes on to state that the packaging sector continues to make up half of the overall plastic polymer consumption in South Africa; 29% for rigid packaging and 21% for flexible packaging. This is followed by the building and construction sector as the third biggest market at 14%.

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