The SFG Box is a flat-packed self-watering box
PLATINUM DESIGN PRINCIPLES WINNER: Spar MILK BOTTLE - A new category introduced for the first time this year is the SAPRO Platinum Design Award; a certification of best-in-class recyclability to acknowledge brands who are prioritising recyclability over marketing fads. Criteria for this certification include materials used, additives and colouring, labels, sleeves, and markings, as well as communication to the consumer and recycler. The Spar milk bottle has been designed for zero waste. The bottle and lid are both made of HDPE and have recently both been made white to improve recyclability even further. The label is made from LDPE with minimal print and little to no adhesive.
GOLD AWARD: Polyoak BUCKETS - Household, Consumer & Leisure. Contan, a division of Polyoak, designs and manufactures lightweight plastic buckets and pails for paint, chemical and bulk food applications. Its fully recyclable PP buckets and lids are designed to seal securely to prevent leakage during transit or storage. The inner layer, rim and lid are virgin PP to ensure secure lid fitment and prevent leakage. The middle layer of the bucket, however, comprises post-consumer recycled PP, which has 70% lower global warming potential than virgin PP. % Recyclate: 40% Tonnages per annum: 55 tons in first year of production Converter: Polyoak
GOLD AWARD: INCREDA-PEG - Household, Consumer & Leisure. The 100% recycled PP Increda-Peg is a revolutionary design by a clothing peg designer and is the only peg in the world that functions sideways and not open and closed and does not require a spring. Not having a spring makes it more robust than a traditional peg .It also features a hook function too as a space and time saver for hanging clothes. This nifty little product has taken the market by storm, with powerful marketing tactics and a very clever design that outperforms competition in strength and longevity. % Recyclate: 100% Tonnages per annum: 24 tons Brand owner: Incredapeg Converter: MV Moulders
GOLD AWARD: Mpact, rPP HINGED CLOSURE - Personal Care. Together with Myplas, a 100% household post-consumer recycled PP hinge, black closure was developed and produced. It minimises the use of additives whilst meeting functional and environmental objectives. The post-consumer recyclate in this application was produced according to the narrowest possible definition. This means that the packaged was used by a household consumer and collected afterwards for recycling. All the materials used, excluding a sprinkling of additives (5%-by-weight) conformed to this narrow definition. The resin needed to have sufficient stiffness and hardness for the flip-top lid to clip into and remain inside the main body, and for the cap to clip in to the softer rHDPE bottle. The resin also had to overcome bending fatigue so the hinge would continue to be able to operate as intended by Unilever, and open and close without the flip-lid snapping off the main body. A further challenge was to overcome excessive warpage due to the variable cooling rates of the variety of PP grades found in post-consumer waste streams. This was compounded by sorting issues to reduce the occurrence of HDPE, which would cause further warpage. The solution was to install auto-sorting equipment that could ‘purify’ the waste stream to 99.8% rPP only and to include an additive to counteract the variable melting rates. % Recyclate: 100% Converter: Mpact Recycler: Myplas
GOLD AWARD: Supreme Mouldings, WALL PANELS - Building & Construction. Supreme Mouldings has developed and produced a range of building materials which competes with virgin and natural materials like wood, in many cases outperforming these materials. They have a wide range of options and are shifting large volumes. The company also donated all the frames for the winners’ certificates!
SILVER AWARD: Addis Usabco, ECO LIVING RANGE - Household, Consumer and Leisure. Addis has created a range of houseware products using 100% PP and PET. The new Addis Eco-Living range offers core gardening and home products. Although it is a relatively new product, it has already used over 20 tons of recycled plastic. % Recyclate: 100% Tonnages per annum: 20 tons Brand owner: Addis Recycler: Myplas
SILVER AWARD: KR Polymers, r-GRAPE AGRICULTURAL FILM - Agriculture and related. The recycler of this product has created partnerships with producers and farmers (which use this product), to create a circular loop of plastic resources. The sheets are used as protection for vineyards for part of the growing season, before being returned to the same company for recycling and blending into new sheets for the same purpose. Recycled content is gradually increased while remaining within safe limits to protect the function and reputability of using recycled content in this application. In the last three years the recycled content has increased from 15% to 50%. KR Polymers introduced one of its own customers as the virgin/recycled sheeting supplier for the farm. In 2021, 50% of the farm’s sheeting was supplied by the mutual converter with 30% recycled content, with excellent results. In 2022, half of the farm’s sheeting was supplied with 50% recycled content. And in 2023, due to the previous two years’ success, the venture was expanded to the whole farm. In 2023, 100% of the sheeting used and supplied to the farm had included 50% recycled content. Trials of the sheeting using 60% recycled material are currently underway. Schoonbee Landgoed and KR Polymers were able to divert 217 213kg (2021); 179 932kg (2022); and 229 673kg (2023) plastic scrap from landfills: A pipe manufacturer is already consuming the bulk of this extra scrap product in the same area and converting it into LDPE irrigation pipes. That again gets supplied back to the farmers. % Recyclate: 15% to 50% Tonnages per annum: 115 tons Converter: KR Polymers
SILVER AWARD: Viro Packaging Solutions, rPET NOURISHD JUICE BOTTLE - Rigid Packaging. At its heart, the rPET Nourishd juice bottle integrates 15% to 50% locally sourced and processed, food-grade post-consumer PET. The deliberate increase in input material boosts the product’s weight, compared to other market juice bottles, exponentially enhancing the product’s value. The incorporation of a BOPP label with minimal adhesive helps with separation. The transparency of the product label design clearly highlights the materials used and recycling guidelines. The label’s QR code can be used to access a sustainability report. % Recyclate: 15-50% Recycler: Recycle 1st Converter: Viro Solutions/Nourished
SILVER AWARD: DC Plastics, underfloor sheeting - Construction & Building. This solution produces a strong, 100% recycled LDPE sheeting. It is ahead of standards and accreditation and shifts huge volumes of material each year.
SILVER AWARD: Berry Astrapak, DEODORANT SCREW CAP - Personal Care. With Myplas, a 50% post-consumer recycled PP deodorant screw cap was developed for Unilever. This grade proves to be a suitable substrate and presents the opportunity to remove PP from landfill and strengthen the recycling stream. Myplas developed a special Mypolen rPP resin blend in its sophisticated lab, with the assistance of additive suppliers and a local university polymer science department. % Recyclate: 50% Tonnages per annum: 60 tons Brand owner: Unilever Converter: JJ Precision Recycler: Myplas
BRONZE AWARD: Ipackchem, 20-LITRE DRUM - Rigid Packaging. This 20-litre stackable drum uses at least 30% PCR. The product also boasts an advanced in-mould fluorination barrier. The source material comes from used drums collected from farmers under EPR regulations. The current collection rate is 76%. After use, the drums are triple-rinsed, and cut to prevent re-use and put aside for collection. In the extrusion step, devolatising technology is applied to remove traces of organic residues. The new drums are then manufactured using 50% virgin HDPE (mixed with 30% PCR-i in the outer layer); 30% PCR-i (mixed with 50% virgin HDPE in outer layer); 20% virgin HDPE in the inner barrier layer; and a fluorinated chemical barrier. % Recyclate: 30% Brand owner: CropLife Converter: Ipackchem Recycler: Myplas
BRONZE AWARD: DC Plastics Recycling, TOUGH PLAS MULCH FILM - Agriculture and related. Tough-Plas, a black mulch plastic sheeting for use in agriculture, is manufactured using black LDPE, 1m x 1m x 100 microns. It is also available in 1m to 6m widths, 4m to 150m lengths, and 50-to-1000-micron gauges. This product offers different gauges, is suitable for a variety of conditions and is recoverable once used. It is certified to perform well in harsh conditions and shifts big volumes. % Recyclate: 100% Tonnages per annum: 1 951 tons in 2022 Converter: DC plastics
BRONZE AWARD: Alpla, RADOX rPET BOTTLE - Personal Care. The Radox brand is a South African icon and the latest development within this stable of products is the transition of the 500ml Bath Foam bottle from partial rPET to a 100% rPET. The change to 100% rPET happened after many trials including rPET rates, starting from 20% and steadily increasing. The move saves approximately 4 tons of virgin polymer per annum. Recycled PET is sometimes associated with a lack of optical clarity and greyness. However, the brightly coloured bath foam mitigates some of the grey colour rPET. In this case, however, good optical clarity has been achieved and the product can be clearly seen through the rPET. The bottle is matched with a modern colourful label that complements the product. % Recyclate: 100% Brand owner: Unilever Converter: Alpla Recycler: Extrupet
BRONZE AWARD: Checkers, TROLLEY - Best Overall Recycling Design Standard. In its last financial year, Shoprite acquired 11 592 trolleys made from 100% recycled material, amounting to 40 675kg of regrind (packaging diverted from landfill). The manufacturer of the trolleys had to reduce the recycled content from 80% to 50% to achieve better flow in manufacturing. A further 5 184 trolleys were manufactured and produced with 50% recycled material, amounting to a total of 10 059kg of regrind (packaging diverted from landfill). The total amount of 50 734kg of regrind amounts to 50.73 tons diverted from landfill. Once the manufacturing obstacles have been overcome, the objective is to move back to 100% recycled content. This development has resulted in the uptake of over 50 tons of recycled plastic through the production of over 16 000 Checkers trolleys. % Recyclate: 50% Tonnages per annum: 50 tons Brand owner: Checkers Recycler: Myplas
JUDGES’ SPECIAL MENTION: RCL, B.BLOX - The product strikes a balance between the educational, social, and economic needs of underprivileged communities, diverting available waste streams to create a robust and sustainable play toy for preschools. B.Blox is the result of collaboration between the Do More Foundation, The Makerspace Foundation and Barrows Global. Products are manufactured through an enterprise development startup now employing four previously unemployed young adults. A cross functional team of designers, engineers and early childhood development specialists working together with the team of young recycling artisans to create a best-in-class educational toy for young children. The blocks are made from 100% recycled HIPS (high impact polystyrene). B.Blox has harnessed over 750kg of waste plastic to produce over 30 000 recycled play blocks in eight months and is aiming to produce 60 000 blocks this year and scale up production for more impact in the years to come. % Recyclate: 100% Tonnages per annum: 750kg
FINALIST: Polyoak, 20 LITRE DRUM - Rigid Packaging. Polyoak’s multilayer PCR 20-litre PCR drum consists of a middle layer comprising rHDPE which has 70% lower global warming potential than virgin HDPE. The interior of the drum is moulded using virgin HDPE to mitigate the risk of contamination and chemical reaction, to protect the integrity of the contents and guarantee its safe containment. Sealing the recycled plastic in the middle layer enables production of higher quality drums on a more consistent basis. This Multilayer PCR Drum is UN Certified to retain its technical functionality with up to 30% rHDPE inclusion. % Recyclate: 20-30% Converter: Polyoak
FINALIST: Tufflex, SANI-TOUCH SANIWIPES BIRD FEEDER - Agriculture and related. Sanitouch Saniwipes, which are used to sanitise trolleys in retail stores, are captured in buckets on site and sent for recycling by Tufflex. The recycled product is then sent to Structural Poly where is it made into bird feeders. By working with Tufflex and Hudson Diphofa, awareness has been created for recycled products and the possibilities of recycling low grade plastics into useful products. % Recyclate: 100% Tonnages per annum: 126 tons over 12 months
FINALIST: Tufflex, PICKET FENCE - Construction & Building. Tufflex Picket Fencing is made from 100% recycled materials that are robust, aesthetically pleasing and can be used in a variety of domestic applications. The process of making these fences has kept ±50 tons of waste plastic out of landfill since production. The Tufflex picket fencing is well suited to the harsh South African climate and will not rot or fade over time as its wooden counterpart does. It is completely inert and does not give off any harsh chemicals, making it safe for the whole family to be around. % Recyclate: 100% Tonnages per annum: 50 tons Converter: Tufflex Recycler: Tufflex
FINALIST: CRDC, RESIN8 - Construction & Building. RESIN8 is a breakthrough eco-aggregate made from mixed plastic waste. The manufacturing process can accept all types of discarded plastic (Resin 1 - 7) waste from industrial, municipal, and environmental waste streams. The mixed plastic waste is then shredded, batched and 'pre-conditioned' during the waterless stage after which it is melted during a heated extrusion stage that produces an inert hybrid mineral-polymer. The RESIN8 is then granulated in the size and gradation of standard natural construction aggregates and is then used to replace a percentage of the natural aggregates in concrete products which results in enhanced properties. These concrete products are lighter, have an increased thermal resistance and acoustic properties while it maintains its compressive strength. RESIN8 can be used in structural or non-structural concrete applications. % Recyclate: 84% Tonnages per annum: 7 320 tons
FINALIST: Alpla, ROBERTSON’S MASTERBLEND SPICE rPET BOTTLE - Rigid Packaging. 2022 saw the first SA 100% rPET bottle for the Unilever Robertson’s Masterblend spice range. This was a one-step jump from 100% pure virgin PET to rPET on six variants. This move saves 26 tons of virgin polymer and cements rPET as a viable substrate for food industry use. Good recycled optical clarity has been achieved and the product can be clearly seen through the rPET. The bottle is matched with a neat wrap-around label. Recycler: Extrupet Converter: Alpla Brand owner: Unilever
FINALIST: Nampak, rPET BOTTLE - Rigid Packaging. Two things make this bottle very newsworthy. It is now the lightest 2-litre PET bottle in South Africa in the dairy and fruit juice product category. And more importantly in the context of the SAPRO awards, this bottle exceeds current EPR requirements by two years. Currently the EPR target is 12.5% rPET. This bottle has a 20% rPET content, which is two years ahead of target. In addition the 20% is a minimum rPET content. Nampak have done successful trials up to 50% rPET content. Depending on rPET supply,  these 2-litre Palm Grip bottles is between 20% and 50%. Partners, Orange Grove, have been a strong supporter of this shift. % Recyclate: 20%-50% Tonnages per annum: 240 tons a year

SFG Box overall winner at SAPRO Recycled Product Awards 2023

SAPRO also launches Platinum Design Award

THE 2023 edition of SAPRO’s Recycled Product Awards programme reached its conclusion at a glittering gala event at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town on 21 September, which was apt – recyclers seldom find themselves in plush surrounds.

Hats off to the five Gold, five Silver, four Bronze, six Finalists, and three Judges’ Special Mentions that were awarded from 33 entries. The awards competition aims to acknowledge products that are made from recycled materials, encouraging brand owners, retailers, converters, and industrial designers to consider recycled plastics as a material of choice. Entries are judged on a number of criteria, including life expectancy, sustainability and the long-term demand and market acceptance of the product, measures taken to ensure product consistency and customer satisfaction, the potential tonnages converted, technical achievements, replacement of alternative materials, and the “Wow factor”!

Winners in previous years were Tufflex for its narrow railway sleeper (2010); Polypet for its Woolworths 1.5l juice bottle (2011); Lasher Tools for its Eco-Barrow (2012); Unilever for its Sunlight dishwash liquid bottle (2013); Mpact Plastic Containers and the & City of Cape Town for the Fifty50 wheelie bin (2015); Cycliq for its Space Bed Base (2017); Palletplast for its rPET pallet (2019); and Supercart for its supermarket trolley (2021).



Agriculture & related

The winner of this category has worked with government, the private sector, and communities, designing and developing an agricultural tool which supports low income or emerging farmers and households and improves food security. The SFG Box is a flat-packed self-watering box, which once assembled, enables one to plant vegetables or fruit trees in the box that offers a climate-smart growing solution. Each box weighs about 10kg, of which 7kg is recycled PP and 3kg virgin PP. This mix of virgin and recycled plastic helps to ensure that the quality and integrity of each box is sound. As the plastic is UV stablised, and as the box has been designed to be extremely durable, it is likely that the life span of the box could exceed 10 years.

% Recyclate: 70%

Tonnages per annum: 210 tons

Brand owner: SFG Tech