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SAPRO Awards 2023

Designing for sustainability

The 9th biennial South African Plastic Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) awards for Best Recycled Plastic Product recently took place at the Table Bay Hotel on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. More than a hundred guests attended the prestigious gala dinner and ceremony. The guests represented leading plastic recyclers and converters as well as prominent brand owners, retailers, and producer responsibility organisations (PROs).

Products were submitted across five different categories, and all underwent a thorough appraisal process by a panel of judges under the leadership of Plastics SA. Winners in each category were selected against the criteria of uniqueness, difficulty to recycle, technical achievement, marketability, fit for purpose and tonnages recycled.

Shoprite and First Impression Labels submitted their newly launched packaging for the Shoprite Aloe Vera drink, which is fully and easily recyclable, featuring a full-length polyolefin shrink-sleeve label on PET bottles. In a Shoprite first, this innovation combines the advantages of shrink-sleeving with full recyclability in the current South African waste streams.

While both PET sleeves and bottles are technically recyclable within RSA, they cannot run together, and the sleeve typically ends up going to the landfill.

Polyolefin (PO) is a combination of polyethylene and polypropylene and can be modified into a label that shrinks in a transverse direction. After going through the grinding stage of the recycling process, the polyolefin film then separates easily at the washing stage. This is because PO is less dense than PET, so it floats to the surface of the water while the PET flakes sink.

There is huge sustainability potential for PO sleeves. Not only are they fully recyclable but the four different eight-colour designs were reverse printed and display excellent huggability and printability with eye-catching design elements that are clear and easily legible.

Adding recyclable sleeves to high volume ranges such as this can greatly reduce the number of plastic bottles and sleeves entering landfills. A distinct logo is being introduced for easy recognition of PO sleeves. This move ensures that this packaging has a better chance of being recycled in South Africa.

FIL is proud to have been selected as a finalist and we stand behind SAPRO in their mission to recognise outstanding products crafted from recycled materials.

Congratulations to all the other contestants and award winners. May the innovation and excellence in recycled packaging continue to grow from strength to strength as we work towards a circular economy and a more sustainable future for all.

Get in touch if you’d like to explore what world-class, sustainable labelling solutions we can provide for your brand – Contact us.