These green South African businesses are making a change for the better when it comes to operating sustainably with as little impact on the environment as possible.
As we continue to face the dire environmental consequences that come as a direct result of climate change, it is becoming harder to ignore the importance of adopting an environmentally conscious mindset when operating a business. As having a sustainable mindset continues to grow in popularity, as well as in importance, businesses ranging from SMMEs to corporate giants are working to lessen their impact on the environment – be it through less waste, recycling, using renewable resources, lowering their carbon footprint or limiting emissions – and work towards a greener future for everyone.
Here are some green businesses which are taking sustainability and eco-minded innovation to the next level in order to make a difference in South Africa:
Mpact is the largest sustainable paper and plastic recycling business in South Africa. The business‘ success lies in the fact that it has closed the loop on paper and plastic recycling, by sourcing the recyclable waste material (from local entrepreneurs who collect the material), recycling and then manufacturing a range of new products using the recycled paper, glass and plastics. According to their website their packaging recycling plant can recycle 24,000 tonnes of used liquid cartons a year, saving 65,240m3 of landfill space and approximately 11,400 tonnes of carbon emissions; while their PET (plastic bottle) recycling plant is designed to process 29,000 tonnes of used PET bottles per annum saving around 180,000m3 of landfill space .
EcoPack is a South African business which manufactures high quality, environmentally responsible alternatives to single-use packaging – from coffee cups, to cutlery and takeaway boxes. Their eco-friendly packaging products include single-use biodegradable and compostable packaging for food and beverages, as well as cartons and other packaging consumables. Their compostable packaging is made from biodegradable, plant-based materials including Bagasse, which is sugarcane fibre waste; IngeoTM PLA which is a polymer made from plant starch and sustainably sourced paper board.
Tuffy is a South African business which produces high-quality, eco-friendly refuse bags from recycled material. According to their website, Tuffy is "effectively turning trash into trash bags" by making their refuse bags from 100% recycled material with a minimum level of 75% post-consumer waste. This translates to around 600 tons of recycled plastic used per month, enabling them to reduce their carbon footprint by as much as 40%. The best part is that their refuse bags are not only made from recyclable materials, but they are also recyclable themselves.
WakaWaka is a South African business with a big focus on helping people harness sustainable energy from the sun. This green business manufactures a range of portable, easy to use solar re-chargeable products, from lamps, to lights and powerbanks. WakaWaka‘s focus not only lies with providing sustainable, renewable energy sources to customers, but also with their social responsibility. The business has several initiatives across the globe which has seen them provide sustainable light sources to communities in need.
The Joinery is an environmentally friendly South African business which designs and manufactures luxury products from sustainable and responsibly sourced materials. The Joinery‘s claim to fame comes from its innovative use of eco-friendly material – namely the creation of a felt fabric that is made from recycled plastic bottles. The recycled bottles which are used to make this felt are collected from all around South Africa. Their luxury products include hospitality gifts, personalised stationery, travel accessories and homeware. Their products are handmade by local artisans and sewing co-ops, which not only helps The Joinery to create employment opportunities in South Africa but enables them to minimise their carbon footprint as well.
These businesses are taking big steps in the right direction when it comes to making a positive impact on the environment. At Sonae Arauco, we see the importance of having an eco-conscious mindset and lessening our impact on the environment, especially in terms of reducing our E1 emissions and ensuring we source our wood from suppliers that practice sustainable reforestation. To find out more about how we have adopted a culture of sustainability click here.
Read our previous article here: https://sonaearauco.co.za/forests-and-biodiversity-international-day-of-forests/
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