The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) held its fourth annual green dialogue on 28 June in Linksfield. Speaking at the event, TGRC’s CEO Shabeer Jhetam explained that recycling of all food and beverage glass packaging has incrementally increased to 41.1 per cent. He said the increase illustrates continued growth and the impact on sustainability in the country.
The event summarised the widespread benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling glass.
‘As our influence grows, we are passionate about fulfilling the mandate of reducing glass waste in South Africa, and diverting glass products from landfills into a new product lifecycle.’
Radio and TV presenter Peter Ndoro was the event’s MC while anti-crime activist, Yusuf Abramjee served as the keynote speaker.
‘We have to take the lead and mobilise civil society to make a difference,’ Abramjee said. He highlighted the importance of educating civilians on the importance of recycling.
The annual dialogue showcased the origins and goodness of glass, the product lifecycle, and glass’ ability to reduce carbon emissions and contribute positively to slowing climate change. It further demonstrated how glass recycling saves water and can ensure cleaner oceans and how recycling saves energy.
Glass is one of the world’s natural wonders, a pure product that touches on each of earth’s four elements; earth, air, water and fire.
From the sand or earth used to create this product to the fiery furnace creating molten glass, from the water used to wash returnable glass bottles, to the clean air and reduced carbon emissions conserved through recycling and reuse of returnable bottles. Glass is a remarkable element in itself.
Jhetam said: ‘I am heartened by the myriad of ways in which the glass recycling network provides income opportunities for the previously disadvantaged and look forward to growing this impact further. Underpinning every success we have celebrated in the past year and challenges we face in future is the ‘fire’ of people. None of this would be possible without the passion that each person brings to this cause. From our valued shareholders and staff, from glass artists to the retailers and restaurants that diligently recycle, and the hard-working collectors, entrepreneurs and schools that ensure that glass does not end up in South Africa’s landfills, each individual plays a vital role.’