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Ardagh Glass Packaging-Africa launches ‘money4glass’ initiative to empower its glass recycling value chain

Published: July 31, 2023

Ardagh Glass Packaging–South Africa (AGP) has launched ‘money4glass’, an initiative that uses BanQu’s web-based technology to improve effectiveness within the company’s supply chain for recycled glass (cullet) in South Africa. The BanQu platform will not only help the company to track and monitor all cullet trades which ultimately bring cullet to its own production facilities but will also help to put money in the pockets of the recyclers in a faster, safer, transparent and more efficient way.

“This technology will enable us to identify traders, better understand the footprint of cullet recycling activity in the country and monitor the volumes of cullet traded in the different regions,” explains Thomas Shaw, Supply Chain Executive of Ardagh Glass Packaging–Africa. “Importantly, it will also allow us to make glass recycling financially viable across the width and breadth of the country through the application of targeted incentives and to ensure that payments and incentives can quickly and efficiently reach all recyclers, but particularly the informal recyclers who are at the start of the recycling process.”

This supply chain includes three levels of recyclers:

  • Level 1 are glass recyclers who sell directly to AGP–South Africa in quantities of no less than 10 tons per month and are registered on the company’s database.
  • Level 2 glass recyclers typically sell to Level 1 buyers in smaller loads, and
  • Level 3 recyclers are the informal traders (mostly waste pickers) who collect glass in bags or trolleys and sell to Level 1 or 2 buyers.

There are several incentives and subsidies that can be paid to certain qualifying recyclers to help drive growth in glass recycling in South Africa.

Consumers are increasingly becoming more mindful of our impact on the planet, starting with the products we buy and how they are packaged. In parallel, governments are implementing various mechanisms to ensure we reduce our environmental footprint and to create a circular economy.

In 2021, the South African government enacted the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation. EPR is a producer-focused mechanism that aims to reduce waste by ensuring that producers of products take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products and packaging. The intention is to increase recycling, thus decreasing dependency on new raw materials, and to ensure the effective and efficient management of end-of-life products.

The BanQu technology will assist AGP–South Africa to collate data that can be used for EPR Plan audits as well as B-BBEE audits while at the same time reducing the ever-present risk of fraud, driving both recycling and transformation in the glass recycling industry.

The easy-to-use platform is accessible on any internet-enabled device and records transparent transactions between registered buyers and sellers at all levels. Besides creating a formalised and transparent trading platform, the technology has several benefits for traders, for the business and for the government’s economic empowerment ambitions.

For traders, the technology allows transactions anywhere, anytime; enables electronic records and bookkeeping to replace paper or manual systems; offers instant cashless transactions to reduce the risk around cash and payments, which improves trust; and enables applicable subsidies and incentives to be paid quickly and easily.

Ardagh and other industry players will benefit from a growing network of connected recycling enterprises; real-time reporting and tracking across multiple buying or processing sites; easily managed supply chain data in compliance with POPIA; and enhanced BEE procurement scores.

Importantly, the platform will empower downstream recycling value chain players through visibility and increased bankability; will enable enterprise development and visibility to base of the pyramid; and strengthen efficiencies of waste collection networks, including informal collectors. All this will drive economic empowerment and small business development.

“Sustainability is a core focus for Ardagh, and we are acutely aware how important it is to drive increased recycling. We are confident that this initiative is going to take glass recycling to a new level in South Africa,” concludes Paul Curnow, CEO of Ardagh Glass Packaging–Africa.

For more information, visit money4glass.co.za

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