Of the total recoverable paper waste in South Africa, 1.1 million tonnes (66%) is recycled and 570 000 tonnes (34%) could still be diverted from landfill – according to a 2015 study conducted by Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA). This latest data released by the organisation suggests that there is still massive capacity for job creation within the recycling industry.
This is according to Dorota Boltman Malone, Managing Director of Rainbow Paper Management – a group company of JSE-Listed Metrofile Holdings Limited, who says that the high percentage of mainline recyclable paper still ending up as landfill indicates that there is still much capacity to implement recycling initiatives among South African businesses.
She points to the 2011 Waste Management Strategy, released by the Department of Environmental Affairs, which calls on industries to proactively take responsibility for the waste generated throughout the life cycle of a product. “Of the millions of recyclable products produced in the country each year, paper is a resource used by practically every organisation and is one of the most convenient materials to recycle.”
89% of South African businesses are still required to store original paper documents, according to the 2015 Records Management Trends Index, commissioned by Metrofile. “Accordingly, the demand for recycled paper is also surging, with 83% of businesses practicing and promoting paper recycling initiatives in comparison to 74% recorded in the previous year’s survey.”
In order to cater for the continued surge, Rainbow Paper Management has grown its staff compliment by 140% since the company’s inception in 1995, says Boltman Malone. “We have also purchased new baling equipment and increased the amount of paper being recycled each month by 1000%.”
“Rainbow’s expansion strategy is in sync with the government’s plan to create 300 000 jobs in the country’s green economy by 2020. We have also complemented the expansion of our own footprint with initiatives to encourage and support small enterprises and hawkers in the recycling space.”
Rainbow is currently driving community upliftment in the New Brighton informal settlement in the Eastern Cape, by enabling people from the community to collect paper waste in the area for recycling purposes, explains Boltman Malone. “The community members are provided with remuneration which increases employment and reduces petty crime. Should this project be successful, we hope to roll out similar projects on a national level.”
Boltman Malone says that the organisation continuously forecasts growth in order to meet the demands of its clients’ paper recycling requirements.
“It is important for all South African businesses to implement recycling practises, not only for the obvious environmental benefits, but also to grow an industry in line with the country’s job creation and empowerment goals,” concludes Boltman Malone.
About Rainbow Paper Management
Rainbow Paper Management is an environmentally-conscious paper collection and recycling service which ensures that paper is processed into different grades and thereafter used as a secondary fibre during manufacturing of tissue paper.
Metrofile Holdings Limited has been listed on the JSE limited (“JSE”) since 1995 and its ordinary shares are quoted in the “Support Services” sector of the JSE. Metrofile is a black-owned Company with black ownership amounting to 53.36%. Its largest shareholder is its empowerment partner, Mineworkers Investment Company (“MIC”) which owns 34,41% of Metrofile’s equity.
Services include records storage and management, image processing, backup storage and management, records management, software and records management consultancy, business continuity and it continuity, file plan development, confidential records destruction, paper recycling, as well the sale and maintenance of a wide range of business equipment, including scanners, library security systems, mailing and packaging machines. Through the recent acquisition of 40% of Litigator, a unique cloud based litigation platform, the Group now also offers secure online filing and issuing of litigation documents, advanced electronic signatures and secure storage of litigation documents.
The Metrofile Records Management division is the market leader in both physical and digital information and records management in Africa and is represented in the six major provinces of South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia and United Arab Emirates. It operates from 44 facilities, at 21 locations, covering more than 87 136 square metres of warehousing and office space. In accordance with its owner/lessee model, 68% of these facilities are owned by the Group. The rest of the Group’s divisions lease their premises.