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Clear the air by recycling paper

Beverage cartons are recyclable (Photo: Tetra Pak)

Beverage cartons are recyclable (Photo: Tetra Pak)

A National Recycling Day message from the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa

It is estimated that only 5% of South African households recycle their paper and cardboard. So what is the other 95% doing with it?

Chances are that millions of tonnes of recyclable paper are going to landfill every year. This paper degrades along with other food waste, adding to the levels of greenhouse gases in the air we breathe. Methane is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In some cases, paper is incinerated, also causing air pollution.

By recycling paper, the carbon (originally stored by trees in the wood fibre) remains ‘locked up’ – and out of the atmosphere – for longer. It also saves landfill space. In 2013 1,2 million tonnes of paper were collected for recycling saving 3,5 million cubic metres of landfill space – the equivalent of 1,403 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

So this National Recycling Day – 19 September 2014 – why not make a commitment to start recycling paper?

Here are a few tips from the Paper Recycling Association of South Africa to get you started:
• Invest a paper-only bin or box in your home or office for easy recycling.

• Keep your paper clean and dry.

• Not all paper can be recycled so get to know your recyclables.

− Recyclable: magazines (including the glossy variety), newspapers, brochures, office paper, shredded paper, cardboard (cereal boxes, toothpaste boxes, medicine boxes, pizza boxes, tissue boxes) and cartonboard, liquid board packaging including beverage and food cartons.

− Not recyclable: wet, soiled paper such as used paper plates, disposable nappies, tissues and toilet paper; foil, gift wrapping, carbon paper; wax-coated, foil-lined or laminated boxes; used cement and dog food bags.

• Find a recycling collection programme or drop-off point near you by visiting Many schools and community organisations earn money from recyclable paper collection. Support these initiatives.

• Support job creation by keeping your recyclables aside for an informal collector who walks your neighbourhood every week. This increases the quality of the recyclables and the collector could earn a little more for better quality.

• Don’t let the recycling pile get too big before you drop it off – keep a box/crate in your boot so you can do a weekly drop-off when you do your shopping or run other errands.

• Always keep in mind that you are recycling for a good reason – the future of our planet. This should be motivation enough to keep you going!
For more information on paper and paper recycling, visit or You can also follow @PaperRocks_SA on Twitter.


Get South Africa reading to get South Africa growing

Research has shown that paper-based materials promote reading comprehension, information retention and learning, and that print-based texts are superior to digital texts in facilitating learning strategies. (Photo:

Research has shown that paper-based materials promote reading comprehension, information retention and learning, and that print-based texts are superior to digital texts in facilitating learning strategies. (Photo:

JOHANNESBURG – September 8 was International Literacy Day, through which UNESCO highlighted the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) is proud to represent the contribution of the global forest products industry to increased literacy around the world.

“According a 2010 study[i] by the University of Stellenbosch, the cost of functional illiteracy[ii] to South Africa’s economy in unrealised GDP is estimated at R550 billion annually,” says Jane Molony, executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) and chairperson of the South African Book Development Council (SADBC). Continue reading

Share the beauty and bounty of reading with others during National Book Week

iStock_000030133986MediumAmerican astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist Carl Sagan said: “A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time—proof that humans can work magic.” Continue reading

Clean-up our neighbourhoods and communities this Spring


The Paper Recycling Association of South Africa is calling on South Africans to give our country a spring clean during the 2014 Clean-Up SA and Recycle Week from 15-19 September, on National Recycling Day on Friday, 19 September and the 29th International Coastal Clean-Up Day on Saturday, 20 September. Continue reading

National Book Week launched

Deputy_Minister_of_Arts_Culture_reads_to_the_kids_NBW2014_copyOne of SA’s longest running and most successful reading initiatives unveils its “Going Places” campaign in Johannesburg

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, accompanied by book sector stakeholders, marked the launch of National Book Week 2014 during an event highlighting the power of books at Emoyeni Conference Centre, Parktown, on Friday 29 August. Continue reading

Visit the Paper Recycling Association of SA stand at Sustainable Living, Durban

IMG_6641 IMG_6622 IMG_6632 IMG_6649Come say hi at the Paper Recycling Association of SA and Tetra Pak stand at the Sustainable Living exhibition, the Durban International Convention Centre from 22-24 August.




Learn about what is and what isn’t recyclable, how you can get your school involved or improve your recycling habits at home or at work.




IMG_6627DSC_0325 IMG_6634DSC_0305This year, the stand offers some visual delights including some ‘upcycled’ Tetra Pak cartons as well as flowers made from newspapers, egg cartons and toilet roll cores.



PAMSA MSc study programme calls for applications

EBP_8559The pulp and paper industry would not be where it is today without investment in research, innovation and technology. Behind these developments are people who were determined to look beyond the obvious. It is this calibre of person that the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) is inviting to apply for its Master of Science (MSc) study programme which facilitates bursaries and scholarships for eligible candidates. Continue reading

Packaging manufacturer Mpact lifts basic underlying earnings per share 19.2% in first half

Highlights for the six months ended 30 June 2014:

  • Revenue of R4 billion up 13.2%
  • Underlying operating profit up 14.5% to R270 million
  • Basic underlying earnings per share up 19.2% to 91.8 cents (June 2013: 77.0 cents)
  • Return on Capital Employed of 16.9% (June 2013: 15.5%)
  • Interim gross cash dividend of 26 cents per share up 18.2% (June 2013:22 cents per share)
  • Gearing down to 32.5% (June 2013: 35.6%)

JOHANNESBURG, 13 August 2014 – Mpact, a leading manufacturer of paper and plastics packaging, today reported an improvement of 14.5% in its underlying operating profit to R270 million in the six months to 30 June 2014, on the back of revenue growth of 13.2% to R4 billion.

In reporting its half-year performance today, Mpact attributed the results mainly to a favourable sales mix and improved productivity.

Basic underlying earnings per share improved by 19.2% to 91.8 cents per share compared the same period last year. Mpact said this was a result of the increase in operating profit and unchanged finance costs. The Board of Mpact has declared an interim gross cash dividend of 26 cents per ordinary share, up 18.2% on the prior period’s interim dividend.

Mpact also announced today that it has entered into an agreement with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to build a state-of-the-art polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling plant in Gauteng. The plant is due to be commissioned during the second half of 2015 at a total investment cost of R350 million. The business will be held in a newly-formed company, Mpact Polymers (Pty) Ltd, in which Mpact holds 79% and the IDC 21%.

The Group said that the trading environment in its first half was characterised by subdued GDP and consumer spending growth. A decline in fruit exports resulted in a reduced demand for fruit packaging. Further, escalation in input costs was above inflation, driven by rand depreciation, administered prices and wage settlements.

Mpact reported that higher average selling prices only partially offset raw material and distribution cost increases, leading to a decline in gross margin when compared to the same period in 2013. External sales volume grew 1.8% during the period.

Improved productivity and fixed cost saving across the Group helped to improve the operating profit margin to 6.8% from 6.7% in the comparable prior period.

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE), a key performance measure for Mpact, improved to 16.9% compared to 15.5% in the same period last year.

The R765-million upgrade of the Felixton paper mill, announced in March 2014, and which is due to be completed in 2017, progressed according to plan during the period under review.

Mpact improved its B-BBEE status from a Level 6 at 31 December 2013 to Level 5 as of March 2014.

In the Paper business, Mpact said revenue for the period was up 14.2% to R2.9 billion with external sales volume growth of 2.1%. Detpak SA, the business acquired in September 2013 contributed 0.9% to external sales volume growth. Underlying operating profit increased by 11.7% to R280.7 million (June 2013: R251.3 million). Productivity improvements resulting from recent investments in the Corrugated business, as well as fixed cost savings across the Paper business, partially offset the under-recovery of increased raw material costs.

In the Plastics business, revenue increased by 10.4% to R1.1 billion due to higher average selling prices. Sales volumes measured in tons were in line with the comparable prior period, with good volume growth in bins and crates offset by a decline in certain products in the FMCG business due to rationalisation.

Underlying operating profit increased by 28.0% to R43.9 million (June 2013: R34.3 million) with margins increasing to 4.1% from 3.5% as a result of a more favourable product mix and management of fixed costs.

The Group’s net debt at 30 June 2014 was R1.4 billion, a decrease of R76 million from 30 June 2013. Average net debt was 4.4% lower than the comparable prior period with gearing of 32.5% (June 2013: 35.6%)

To meet changing operational requirements and to remain competitive within the Mpact Plastics FMCG business, agreement has been reached with all affected parties to close the converting factory situated in Robertville, Gauteng and relocate certain plant to other Plastics operations. The closure is expected to be completed by the end of the 2014 financial year at an estimated non-recurring cost of R23 million, which will be accounted for in the second half.

The direct financial cost of the four-week-long industrywide strike that affected six plastics converting operations during July is estimated to be R20 million, which may be partly recovered during the balance of the year.

Comment on the first half by Bruce Strong, chief executive officer of Mpact Limited: “Mpact’s results for the first half of 2014 reflect the Group’s resilience, established market positions and the benefits derived from investments made over past years to improve productivity.

“We continue to identify investment opportunities that offer the prospect of enhanced shareholder returns while meeting our other strategic objectives.

“In the second half of 2014 we expect a significant challenge to recover cost inflation while economic growth remains modest. Despite this we remain confident in our strategy, well established market positions and ability to generate shareholder returns.”