New appointment at Plastics SA

New appointment at Plastics SA

Plastics SA is proud to welcome Kabelo Phakoe as its new sustainability project coordinator. Based at the company’s head office in Midrand, Gauteng, the appointment is effective from February 1.

Phakoe describes himself as “a typical Jozi guy” who was born and raised in the City of Gold. He holds a BSc (Honours) degree in Geography, which he obtained from the University of the Witwatersrand. Between 2018 and 2020 he worked as an intern at the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment before being appointed as a Paper Recycling Association of South Africa entrepreneurship training course facilitator in 2021.

Phakoe’s appointment forms part of the plans to expand Plastics SA’s technical skills and knowledge base in order to provide evidence-based, up-to-date industry information by attracting experienced minds who will be able to help grow, expand, and support the industry. As sustainability project coordinator, he will be responsible for supporting environmentally responsible actions that benefit the industry by focusing on four main key deliverables: waste management and recycling; influencing human behaviour towards good waste management practices; product stewardship and extended producer responsibility; and resource efficiency.

“I will be developing solutions for the prevention, recycling, re-use, and recovery of plastics waste to ease the burden on landfills and the natural environment. We need to continue our efforts to change people’s perception of waste to start seeing it as a valuable resource that can contribute to our country’s gross domestic product. Implementing enterprise resource planning and product stewardship programmes for the plastics industry will also be a major focus this year. I will continue to build on the good work started by Plastics SA’s sustainability team to educate the industry in the aspects of sustainable manufacturing – focusing on water conservation, energy efficiency, and reductions in air pollution,” Phakoe says.

“My biggest driving force will always be taking care of the world around us. I have witnessed first-hand the negative impact careless human behaviour can have on a beautiful city like Johannesburg. Seeing the litter strewn in the streets or waste being burned in the townships breaks my heart. I believe we can turn the tide on waste in our country if we work together across industries, sectors, provincial borders, and other divides. Only once we stop working in silos will we be truly supportive of each other’s efforts. This will allow us to combine our resources to maximum effect to improve waste minimisation, sustainable waste services, sustainability awareness, and compliances.”

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