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The Current Situation of PET Recycling in Africa: A Journey towards Sustainable Solutions


Africa, with its rich biodiversity and growing population, is facing a significant challenge when it comes to managing its plastic waste. Among the various types of plastics, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles pose a considerable environmental threat due to their non-biodegradable nature. However, in recent years, Africa has been making strides in PET recycling, aiming to mitigate the adverse effects of plastic pollution and create a sustainable future. This blog explores the current situation of PET recycling in Africa and the efforts being made to address this pressing issue.

Challenges Faced:

The recycling landscape in Africa faces numerous challenges, including limited infrastructure, inadequate waste management systems, and a lack of awareness among the general public. These factors have contributed to the significant accumulation of plastic waste, including PET bottles, in many African countries. Insufficient recycling facilities, lack of proper collection systems, and limited access to recycling technologies have hindered the efficient recycling of PET.

Emerging Solutions:

Despite the challenges, Africa is witnessing the emergence of innovative solutions to tackle the PET recycling issue. Several initiatives and organizations have been working tirelessly to promote recycling practices and create a circular economy for plastic waste.

  1. Awareness and Education: Efforts are underway to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and proper waste management. NGOs, governments, and local communities are organizing campaigns, workshops, and educational programs to educate the public on the detrimental effects of plastic waste and the benefits of recycling PET bottles.
  2. Collection Infrastructure: Investments are being made to improve waste collection infrastructure, particularly in urban areas. The establishment of recycling centers, collection points, and drop-off stations encourages individuals and businesses to participate in PET bottle recycling.
  3. Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Innovative entrepreneurs are finding opportunities in the recycling sector. Start-ups are being launched to collect and process PET bottles, creating employment opportunities while simultaneously addressing the plastic waste problem. These ventures often employ innovative technologies, such as plastic-to-fuel conversion and 3D printing using recycled PET.

Success Stories:

Africa has witnessed success stories that demonstrate the positive impact of PET recycling initiatives. For instance, Plastic Recycling Africa taking part in joint ventures and working closely together with local partners in Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Mali and Zimbabwe has achieved remarkable results by implementing business knowledge at local start up plants and comprehensive PET recycling programs. Through collaboration with industry stakeholders, they have significantly increased PET recycling rates, leading to the establishment of a thriving circular economy for PET bottles.

Additionally, some African countries, like Kenya and Rwanda, have implemented plastic bag bans and strict regulations to reduce plastic waste. These measures have stimulated the development of recycling systems for PET bottles and other plastic packaging materials.


While challenges remain, the current situation of PET recycling in Africa shows promising signs of progress. With increased awareness, improved collection infrastructure, and innovative approaches, Africa is working towards a more sustainable future. Collaboration between governments, NGOs, private sector entities, and local communities is vital to achieving effective PET recycling and reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste. By fostering a culture of recycling and embracing innovative solutions, Africa can pave the way for a cleaner and greener future for generations to come.

Join us at our mission in Africa

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Recycled content in PET beverage bottles in Germany has increased significantly since 2019

Below some positive news for all of us who are driving circularity!

The article is translated from German and was originally published on at 05.04.2023 by Stefan Lang.

Higher use of recycled material in PET beverage bottles

The proportion of recycled material in PET beverage bottles has increased significantly. According to a study by GVM (= Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung), an average of 44.8 percent PET recyclate was used in the production of beverage bottles in Germany in 2021. In the last survey for 2019, it was still 34.4 percent.

However, the consumption of PET for bottle production fell by 4.5 percent or 21,400 tonnes to 446,000 tonnes compared to 2019. One reason for this is that the bottles are becoming lighter and lighter, according to the study “Aufkommen und Verwertung von PET-Getränkeflaschen in Deutschland 2021” (Volume and recycling of PET beverage bottles in Germany 2021), which was commissioned by Forum PET and the IK (= Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen). But declines in demand and substitution by glass bottles would also have resulted in a decrease in PET volumes.

According to the study, the recycling rate of all PET beverage bottles was 94.8 percent on average in 2021. The recycling rate for PET bottles with a deposit (one-way and refillable) was as high as 97.7 percent. The return rate for PET bottles with a deposit (single-use and reusable) reached 98.7 percent.

Around 438,000 tonnes of PET beverage bottles, including imports, were recycled in Germany. Of this, the largest share (190,500 tonnes or 44.7 percent) ended up in the production of new bottles, while the film industry took about 114,000 tonnes (26.8 per cent). Other sectors such as non-food bottles, tapes and injection moulded products recycled more than 73,000 tonnes of PET recyclate, while the fibre industry took another 48,000 tonnes (11.3 percent). About 33,600 tonnes of PET from bottle sorting and reprocessing as well as misdirected into residual waste were incinerated.

According to GVM, recycling capacities in Germany exceed the available PET quantities. In order to exhaust the recycling capacities, the import of bottles is necessary. GVM puts the import surplus at 15,000 tonnes.

Although the price for PET recyclates increased very strongly in 2021, bottlers used more recyclates in beverage bottles than in previous years. According to GVM, the reason for the higher use rates was, among other things, the commitments made by large bottlers to use recyclates.

IK sees great potential through expansion of deposit systems in Europe

For the IK, high quotas are “proof of the efficiency” of the German deposit system for beverage bottles. “We see great potential across Europe and hope that more European countries will also establish deposit systems close to the future,” says IK Managing Director Isabell Schmidt. Since 1 January 2022, juice bottles have also been included in the deposit system. With milk bottles, which will follow in 2024, all PET beverage bottles, returnable and non-returnable, will be subject to a deposit, according to the IK. The beverage industry expects the use of PET recyclate to continue to increase in the coming years. On the one hand, the manufacturers and distributors of PET beverage bottles want to achieve the sustainability goals they have set themselves. On the other hand, the EU’s Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) requires that from 2025 onwards, PET single-use beverage bottles throughout Europe have an average recycled content of at least 25 percent.

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Out of office: April 27th KINGSDAY

Photo from television, announcement of “Koningsdag”.

Dear all,

Once again, 27th of April we will be celebrating the birthday of our King, Willem Alexander van Oranje!

The Netherlands will be one big party.  Children on the streets, trading in secondary materials. We do not want to compete with them! We therefore will not be present in our offices but are enjoying the party, drinking “Oranje Bitter”, wearing orange clothes and decorations.

We will be available on Friday (please not to early 😉) for all your questions.

Photo from television, announcement of “Koningsdag”.


With Orange greetings,

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PET vs Glass and Aluminium

“Life Cycle Assessment shows that PET bottles are the best option for the planet”

Sources: and

The National Association for PET Container Resources is releasing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that compares PET plastic, glass and aluminum carbonated soft drink (CSD) and still water beverage container systems. The assessment found that PET plastic bottles, when compared to aluminum cans and glass bottles, are significantly better for the environment.

The study was completed by Franklin Associates, a leading LCA consulting firm and pioneer in the field, and went through an extensive peer review and verification process. Findings unequivocally show that when it comes to the best beverage packaging for the environment, the answer is PET.

Plastic packaging made from PET is used in over 70% of beverage containers because it’s lightweight, clear and 100% recyclable. Compared to glass and aluminum beverage containers, PET plastic bottles create less solid waste, use less water during production and generate fewer emissions that contribute to acid rain and smog.

If U.S. consumers selected PET plastic bottles instead of glass bottles for their soda beverages over the course of one year, it would be the same as:

  • The amount of GHG emissions avoided by recycling instead of landfilling nearly 53,000 garbage trucks of waste
  • The carbon sequestered by adding almost 1.3 million acres of U.S. forest

Similarly, if U.S. residents choose PET plastic bottles instead of aluminum cans for their soda beverages over the course of one year, resulting impacts would be the same as:

  • Conserving 4.4 billion liters of water
  • Removing 688,000 gas powered cars off the road annually
  • Diverting 138 million bags filled with trash for recycling versus landfills

The LCA compared the most commonly used beverage containers for carbonated soft drinks and still water and found that a 16.9 ounce PET plastic water bottle compared to a standard-size 12 ounce aluminum can:

  • Creates 80% less solid waste
  • Uses 53% less water during production
  • Has 74% lower global warming potential
  • Generates 68-83% fewer emissions that contribute to the formation of acid rain and smog

“The LCA scientifically and credibly demonstrates how plastic packaging provides significant environmental benefits that will help the world meet its vital net zero carbon targets,” said Laura Stewart, Executive Director of NAPCOR. “A PET bottle is 100% recyclable and can be made with 100% recycled content. The LCA’s results should be empowering for businesses and consumers because we can confirm once again that choosing PET plastic beverage containers is the best option for the planet.”

This cradle-to-grave LCA looked at commonly used PET plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers for CSD and still water. It found that glass tends to have the highest environmental impacts, followed by aluminum and then PET bottles. PET plastic bottles are a more sustainable beverage container option and have a lower impact on several key environmental metrics, including greenhouse gas emissions, energy demand, water consumption, smog, acid rain and eutrophication potential.

“We are sensitive to the additional issue of waste management that comes with any discussion of packaging,” adds Stewart. “By conducting the LCA we hope to better inform consumers, brands and legislators about their packaging options and the impact on the environment. At NAPCOR, we are committed to working closely with our partners, customers and community members to increase the rates of plastic recycling. The full benefits of choosing PET come about when we recycle it.”

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Soon available high quality Clear PET Bottles and Clear PET Preforms

From our reliable and existing source new loadings of Clear PET Bottles  and Clear PET Preforms will be available soon. It concerns post production material of an exceptional high quality.

Both materials are ongoing.

Clear PET Bottles PP
Clear PET Bottles PP

If you are interested, please contact us at:

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Happy Holidays & Healthy and Prosperous 2023

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April 27th KINGSDAY

  Photo by Erikt; Koningsdag Graft-De Rijp 20140426.jpg; CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear all,

The 27th of April we will be celebrating the birthday of our King, Willem Alexander van Oranje!

The Netherlands will be one big party. Children on the streets, trading in secondary materials. We do not want to compete with them! We therefore will not be present in our offices but are enjoying the party, drinking “Oranje Bitter”, wearing orange clothes and decorations.

We will be available the next Thursday (please not to early 😉) for all your questions.

Photo by DirkvdM; koninginnedag 3.jpg; Created in April 2007;  CC BY-SA 2.5

With Orange greetings,

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Dutch PET Recycling BV is the first company in the Netherlands to obtain the global Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP) certificate.

Official OBP Logo

Dutch PET Recycling BV (DPR) is a plastic recycling company with a focus on recycled PET bottles/flakes (RPET). From our social responsibility point of view, contributing to solving global pollution has a high priority. Dutch PET Recycling connects local recycling companies with the demand from the circular plastic industry. With over 30 years of experience in recycling, a huge network and knowledge base in secondary raw materials has emerged. Headquartered in the Netherlands, and with global partners and local agents, we are serving customers worldwide.

Photo: Jan Mones (Lead Auditor at Control Union) handing over the certificate to Ton van den Oever (CEO at Dutch PET Recycling) in front of big bags with Ocean rPET

OBP certification

The vast majority (80%) of plastics that pollute oceans originate from land. Needless to say, it is easier and cheaper to collect these plastics before they end up in the oceans, than once they have sunk to the bottom of the oceans or are dispersed as a soup of micro-particles for the plastics that remain floating. It is therefore logical and important that we focus our efforts on removing Ocean Bound Plastics from the environment before it is too late.

To reinforce this commitment, Control Union (CU) has set up the OBP certification program together with NGO Zero Plastics Oceans. Detailed information can be found here and on

For Dutch PET Recycling, certification means that all the conditions for the quality mark have been met enabling DPR to sell their products with the claim “OBP certified”. And also that, together with our successful certified suppliers we can cover a large part of the chain.

But there is more:

Added value

The added value of OBP certification lies mainly in the transparency of the entire recycling process. The new end product or the new raw material for a producer can be demonstrably traced back to the moment it was collected as waste, before it threatened to end up in the ocean.

The sad images of the ‘plastic soup’ are in everyone’s mind. Fortunately, there are good initiatives to clean it up. By preventing plastic from disappearing into the ocean in the first place, the time will come when the oceans will be clean and remain so. Contributing to improving the environment appeals to everyone. Both consumers and producers that work with OBP material also want to be associated with it.

The added value extends throughout the chain. From a better infrastructure for solid waste management, major benefits for the local economy and public health, to better working conditions for the collectors of the waste.

There is also added value in being certified by Control Union. CU is a global company that is independent of any other company in the entire process. The OBP certificate is therefore, provided the audit has been passed successfully, an irrefutable proof of transparency and professionalism. The assessment criteria are tough and contribute to further awareness of a transparent process, a higher quality level and the right to use the OBP logo.

Dutch PET Recycling is proud of the certification it has achieved!

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Announcement: Dutch PET Recycling is OBP-certified

Dutch PET Recycling is proud to announce that they have become the first Dutch Company that is OBP certified. Together with one of our suppliers we are now able to deliver Ocean RPET.  Each step of the process is transparent, traceable and verifiable. From collecting used bottles till delivering Ocean RPET Flakes on your front door!

Ocean Bound Plastic Certified Logo

Ocean Bound Plastic is indirectly defined by the publication of Jenna Jembeck et al. in Science on 13th February 2015. In general one can say that Ocean Bound Plastic is a plastic waste that is not collected correctly and is abandoned in the environment where it will be transported to the ocean either by rain, wind, tides, river flow or floods.

The OBP Certification Program was developed by the NGO Zero Plastic Oceans in collaboration with the certification group Control Union. They are an independent and worldwide certifier on OBP!

The OBP Certification Program is designed to encourage the removal of Ocean Bound Plastic from the environment by adding value in effectively collecting and treating it before it reaches oceans. That is why Dutch PET Recycling is proud to contribute to a coherent global action against Ocean Bound Plastic and preventing Ocean Plastic.

Join us in using Ocean RPET!

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DPR closely involved in baling and delivering RPET Bottles / Flakes from Africa

DPR is closely cooperating with sister company Plastic Recycling Africa in baling and distributing PET Bottles. Having set up plants in Burkina Faso, Tanzania and with partnerships in Zimbabwe and other countries in development, we are still expanding our possibilities at the African continent.

Shipments from our local plants in Burkina Faso and Tanzania are up and running. Our partner Plastic Recycling Africa is the official distributor. It all started some years ago in sharing knowledge about recycling with some relationships in Africa.

Besides the plants in Burkina Faso and Tanzania, we are also closely cooperating with an existing plant in Zimbabwe. In this way we are expanding our ambitions to provide customers with PET Bottles, Flakes, Pellets and byproducts.

More detailed information about Plastic Recycling Africa can be found on their website: