In order to share the Happy Culture love with you far and wide, packaging is both a wonderful solution and unfortunate necessity.
It was not easy for us to chose the type packaging to use. We needed a packaging solution which would enable our vision to make kombucha more accessible to the market (while driving a much needed evolution in the world of beverages), and while also holding close to our hearts our desire to minimise our environmental footprint.
As conscious consumers and planet lovers, and being aware of the global plastic pollution problem, PET was initially not even a consideration. The more we researched however, the more we started to understand that PET may in fact be a much more sustainable option than we had thought it to be, and the best suited option available for us to realise the Happy Culture vision.
What is PET?
PET is the acronym for Polyethylene Terephthalate, a very versatile and sophisticated plastic. It is the plastic used to make the most common container in the soft drink market today: the plastic bottle. PET is labeled with the # 1 code on or near the bottom of bottles and containers.
When assessing the environmental impact of packaging, it is key to understand the impact across the product’s entire life cycle, from production to disposal. PET uses significantly less energy across its life cycle than other beverage packaging alternatives, which reduces a variety of environmental impacts. PET is also inexpensive, lightweight, resealable, shatter-resistant and highly recyclable.
|LOWER CARBON FOOTPRINT||Due to its lightweight and lower raw material use, PET uses less energy to produce, transport and recycle and therefore has a significantly lower carbon footprint than heavier alternatives. This makes PET more environmentally sustainable from a climate change and energy consumption perspective.|
|LOWER PRICE||PET packaging costs less- this means we can make our products more accessible to you and a greater portion of the population.|
|IT’S SAFE||PET is shatterproof, which means our products can be safely enjoyed by children. PET is BPA free and contains no harmful chemicals.|
|IT’S RECYCLABLE||PET bottles are recyclable. Once recycled, recycled PET (rPET) can be used as a raw material for a range of new products and continues to live on in the recycling chain, therefore being a part of a circular economy, minimising input resources and waste and staying out of landfills.|
|WIDELY RECYCLED |
IN SOUTH AFRICA
|South Africa has one of the highest PET bottle recycling rates in the world, currently at 63%. PETCO and its members are committed to continuously increasing the PET recycling rate in the country.|
|rPET IS VALUABLE||In South Africa, rPET is a sought after raw material for the production of new products, such as fibre used for clothing and bags, filling for duvets and pillows, home textiles, automotive parts (carpets, sound insulation, boot linings, seat covers), industrial end-use items, and of course, new PET packaging.|
|BOTTLE-2-BOTTLE||Exciting technology is emerging in South Africa aimed at optimising the quality of rPET, meaning that for the first time, rPET can be used not only in new packaging, but also in carbonated soft drinks bottles. Bottle-2-Bottle capacity represents the most sustainable use of the raw material by “closing the loop” where the rPET can be used repeatedly in new bottles, offering exciting prospects for a sustainable circular economy.|
The Plastic Pollution Problem
One cannot talk about PET without acknowledging the major plastic pollution problem which currently exists in the world. Plastic pollution refers to the accumulation of plastic objects and particles in the Earth's environment, causing major harm to wildlife, natural habitats, and humans. It is important to understand the big picture around this topic in order to be able to work together in stopping plastic pollution.
Plastics have positively shaped the world in many ways, such as by providing health, safety, sustainability and convenience benefits. However, the rapid growth in population and shifting consumer lifestyles has drastically increased the world's plastic consumption in recent decades – and infrastructure development has not kept pace. The result is a dramatic increase in poorly managed plastic waste and therefore pollution.
Plastics have animportant place in our world — but not in our environment. The focus should therefore not so much be around eliminating plastics altogether, but more in ensuring that our plastic waste is kept away from our natural environment and used as part of a sustainable circular economy.
What We Are Doing
To Optimise The Sustainability Of Our Packaging
Designed with a circular economy in mind, our bottles are compatible with the recycling infrastructure in South Africa and are ready to be converted into new products made from rPET.
We are committed to using our platform to communicate the importance of recycling to our audience across South Africa, and helping drive the recycling culture in the country.
PETCO is the South African PET Recycling NPC. Along with its members, PETCO is passionately devoted to driving PET recycling in South Africa. Check out the amazing work they are doing > www.petco.co.za
In 2020, we will start to introduce rPET into our bottles and are looking forward to being one of the first brands in the country to join the bottle2bottle movement for carbonated beverages. We also plan to start supporting organisations that drive positive change through donations. More info to come on this soon..
What You Can Do
Ensure that you have a recycling system at home, and that you always dispose of your PET packaging correctly. This should become a happy, natural habit for every body - no excuses.
Support, encourage and inspire those around you to join the recycling revolution! If your office or community are not yet on board, guide them in making the shift. Don’t be shy to share your knowledge people to help guide them in the right direction.
Make sure to choose products which are packaged in 100% recyclable packaging and which support a circular economy.
Continue to educate yourself about environmental affairs and how you can best adapt your lifestyle to minimise your environmental footprint. Support organisations which are driving positive change - from beach clean ups to NGOs to political parties.
How To Recycle
The City of Cape Town and a bunch of private initiatives are making it increasingly easier and more accessible for individuals and businesses to dispose of their rubbish responsibly, with the establishment of various kerb collection and drop off centre services.
In case you have not yet joined the recycling revolution, here below are some examples of the services that are available. All you need to do is take the first step and from there, it’s a lot easier and more rewarding than you think!
(Note this section is tailored for the Cape Town region, but services like these are available nationwide)
Kerb Side Collection Services
Think Twice Recycling
A City of Cape Town initiative that offers a free household recycling service to those in the Atlantic area (all the way from Blouberg down to Hout Bay), the Northern Suburbs, the South Peninsula, the Helderberg area and Kraaifontein.
Unfortunately, the CBD is not yet a part of the circuit. Waste plan and Mandla recycling are the two companies contracted to realise this initiative.
Regenize Recycling Collection
Regenize is a new age company offering some exciting rewards to encourage people to recycle. For less than R100 per month, Regenize will collect your recycling from your home and offer you vouchers in exchange for higher recycling rates.
They also incentive you to encourage your neighbours to join the recycling programme, by offering a 5% discount for every neighbour signed up in your street.
Recycle 1st is passionate about helping individuals and companies getting started with recycling.
On top of kerbside collections, they also offer a service for complex collections, helping set up communal bins, collecting weekly and providing feedback on how much you i.e. being recycled on a monthly basis.
They also offer a service to businesses to set up a recycling system within a desired budget.
Mr Recycle picks up from neighbourhoods in the CBD and the Southern Suburbs, operating at night to lessen carbon emissions.
Collections are on Tuesdays in areas from Muizenberg to Rondebosch, and on Thursdays in the City Bowl. They pride themselves for a very efficient service from R100/month only.
There are also a whole lot of drop off sites around the country where you can drop off your recycling bags for free. Click on the links below to find the closest drop off sites to you.
With its many unique and useful properties, PET packaging serves an important role in today’s world.
Therefore, it is key that we learn to work with it rather than against it, in order to ensure that this revolutionary material can continue to support our lives in a sustainable way with minimal environmental impact.
Did you know?
|PET RECYCLING CREATES JOBS||PET recycling creates income opportunities for informal collectors. Currently over 60,000 income opportunities for small and micro-collectors have been created in SA.|
|FUN FACTS ABOUT PET RECYCLING||In SA, recycling PET bottles has saved over 1 million tonnes of carbon and avoided using over 4 million m3 of landfill space to date. Recycling plastic bottles decreases the need for raw materials, saves energy and ensures minimal pollution.|