Latest News & Features

Namakwa Recycling Cooperative takes root

Community of Springbok is the latest to benefit from recycling training course  provided by PRASA. 

Thanks to the combined efforts of the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA) and local entrepreneur Cecil Barends, the recovery of recyclables is gaining momentum in Springbok, a town situated in the heart of the Northern Cape’s Namaqualand spring-flower country. Continue reading

Paper recycling. Simplified.

PRASA shares the ‘golden rules’ for paper recycling.

The Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA) calls on all South Africans – from schoolchildren to pensioners – to do their bit by recycling paper products at school, home and work for drop-off at local recycling depots or gathering by collectors who earn a living by selling it back to mills. Continue reading

Call for project participation from South African universities

The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa’s Process Research Unit invites South African universities to tender project proposals for research work that will advance the development of new skills and commercial opportunities in the pulp and paper industry.

Proposals should relate to the following: 

  • The extraction and modification of hemicelluloses from mill liquors. This should include the development of processes to recover, process and test the economic viability of products.
  • Nanocellulose production from waste streams (typically paper machine sludge) and other biomass feedstocks available.
  • The development of pyrolysis processes to recover liquid and solid products for beneficiation for use in the chemical and fuel sectors.
  • The recovery of liquid fuels/chemicals using fermentation-type processes suitable for the processing of liquid waste streams for the manufacture and recovery of alcohols and bio-plastics.

No more than three proposals from each institution will be considered.

Please include:

  • Overall project scope, clearly defined deliverables and motivation.
  • Innovation and uniqueness.
  • Time-line with clearly defined target dates and intermediate hold points.
  • Overall cost and expected cash flow over project life.
  • Resources required, with particular emphasis on up-skilling human resources, including number of masters and/or doctorates that could be developed.
  • Potential for entrepreneurial development and community upliftment.

Email:              patti.webster [at] pamsa [dot co dot za]

Queries:           011 803 5063

Closing date:   Monday, 5 October 2015

Discover the treasure in your trash

Screenshot 2015-09-08 13.53.00Make a difference and recycle this September

Between September 14 and 19, we celebrate Clean-up South Africa and Recycle Week to encourage citizens countrywide to recycle as a means of preventing ‘treasured trash’ from taking up precious space in landfills and extending its usable life as a new product.

Organisations like the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA) are working towards a ‘recycling-minded’ society by teaching ordinary people how they can make an extraordinary difference – with everyday items.

Separating paper and cardboard products from home, school and office waste and keeping it aside for conversion into other products has many benefits, both for the environment and the people who make a living by collecting recyclables and selling them on to buy-back centres and paper manufacturers,” says PRASA operations director Ursula Henneberry.


The paper products we come into daily contact with – ranging from office paper and newspapers, medicine boxes and magazines, juice and milk cartons to cardboard cores from toilet rolls – can all be recycled.

They are also completely renewable because, at some point, their fibre would have come from sustainably and responsibly farmed trees that are planted, grown, harvested and replanted in cycles.

Recycling also keeps the carbon originally stored in the wood fibre of trees locked in paper products and out of the atmosphere for longer.

Unfortunately large quantities of paper still end up in landfills, which are rapidly running out of space, and add to greenhouse gas emissions when paper decomposes with other waste.

“During 2014, 64% of recoverable paper was recycled, 2% more than in 2013 and 5% more than in 2012,” says Henneberry. “For every tonne of paper recycled, up to three cubic metres of landfill space is saved – land that could be better used for housing, agriculture and infrastructure. During 2014, South Africans recycled 1.1 million tonnes, enough to fill 1,276 Olympic-sized swimming pools.”

But we need to do more. It is estimated that only 5% of households recycle paper.

PRASA advises that householders keep recyclables aside for an informal collector who walks your neighbourhood every week. “This increases the quality of the recyclables, allowing the collector to earn a little more.”


“In a country with high unemployment rates and accompanying poverty, paper recycling is becoming a source of revenue for a growing number of people. An estimated 35,000 people put food on their tables by walking the streets to collect ‘waste’ in return for cash or work for larger companies to recover, sort and weigh recyclables for conversion into usable and commercially viable products.

The pulp and paper manufacturing industry is a key sector in the South African economy. Importantly, it employs a workforce of more than 150,000 people across the value chain – from forestry, to pulp and paper manufacturing to informal collectors. These people in turn collectively feed, clothe and school around 900,000 dependants.

“Companies that produce paper products run major mills specifically designed to turn today’s phonebooks, magazines, notepads, company minutes, milk cartons and cereal boxes into tomorrow’s egg containers, corrugated boxes and board, newspapers and tissue products,” states Henneberry.

“Some 65% of recovered paper is used as fibre, without which these mills would stand idle, unable to manufacture the pulp used to produce materials for products manufactured in South Africa and exported around the world.”

You can get involved by separating all kinds of refuse, starting with paper and moving on to plastics, glass and cans.

Paper products you can recycle:

  • all office paper
  • coloured paper
  • newspaper, magazines (even glossy ones)
  • catalogues, phonebooks
  • direct marketing leaflets
  • cardboard packaging of all kinds, shapes and sizes – boxes used for moving; electronics, shoes, gifts and cereal
  • paper towel and toilet paper cores
  • food packaging (unwaxed only please)
  • shredded paper (in plastic bag to minimize blow-away)
  • milk, juice and liquid cartons (should be empty)
  • books: all soft cover, hard or plastic covers should be ripped off
  • pizza boxes (food and wax paper removed)
  • brown paper bags

Remember, paper should be separated from wet waste so it does not get contaminated.

Paper products you shouldn’t recycle

  • Tissue paper and paper towel
  • Wax paper
  • Used cement and dog food bags
  • Disposable nappies
  • Plastic lined papers
  • Foil lined papers


  • Visit for programmes in your area.
    • Enrol in a free kerbside collection programme.
    • Find a drop-off centre near your home or office, usually at local shopping centres.
  • Check with local community centres, places of worship or schools if they have a paper recycling programme from which they benefit financially.
  • Contract the services of a small recycling business.

Clean-up SA and Recycle Week takes place between September 14 and 18, and National Recycling Day is celebrated on Friday, September 18. International Coastal Clean-up Day takes place on Saturday, 19 September.

Screenshot 2015-08-27 13.53.57




Ibá’s Elizabeth de Carvalhaes Named President of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations

WASHINGTON – The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) announced Elizabeth de Carvalhaes as its new president. De Carvalhaes, who is president of the Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibá), will serve in this capacity for the next two years.

“The forest products industry has the potential to respond to many of the world’s needs, and I am honored to take change of this group of leaders,” said De Carvalhaes.

De Carvalhaes was elected at the ICFPA’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The meeting was attended by representatives from 18 ICFPA members associations, who discussed future activities, cooperation and sustainability-related issues.

De Carvalhaes succeeds Donna Harman, president and CEO of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), who served as ICFPA president for the past three years.

“It has been a privilege to help the ICFPA continue its legacy of advocacy on important public policy issues for the global forest products industry,” said Harman. “In the past two years, we have expanded our advocacy reach with new and updated position statements and increased communications between national associations.”

“On behalf of the entire ICFPA, I would like to thank Donna for her leadership and guidance,” said De Carvalhaes. “I look forward to continuing to work with her to ensure a strong global forest products industry.”

The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world – including the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and half of global wood production.

For more information about the sustainability of the global forest and paper industry, visit