SAPRO opens entries for SA’s best recycled product of the year awards

The South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) is proud to announce that entries are now open for the 2021 Best Recycled Plastic Product of the Year Awards.

According to Phil Sereme, General Manager of SAPRO, this biennial competition aims to raise awareness and showcase the wide variety of ingenious products that are locally designed and manufactured using recycled plastics.

‘The event is a cornerstone of our strategy to grow the demand for plastic recyclate and helps to improve market acceptance of locally manufactured recycled plastic products. By acknowledging and showcasing the remarkable and inspiring range of manufactured goods that can be made from recycled materials, SAPRO encourages brand owners, retailers, converters and industrial designers to consider recycled plastics as a material of choice,’ Sereme explains.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s awards ceremony will be a virtual event that takes place on Thursday, 14 October 2021. During the event, the recycler of the material, the manufacturer of the product as well as the brand owner will be acknowledged. Each category will have a winner and the overall winner will be awarded.

Judging criteria

According to Sereme, entries will be judged on a number of criteria, such as the life expectancy and sustainability of product, measures that were taken to ensure product consistency and customer satisfaction despite recycled material content, tonnages (or potential tonnages) of plastic waste that were converted and diverted from landfill, as well as the technical achievements in manufacturing to overcome recycled material challenges.

‘It is important for us to recognise and reward recyclers for creating new end-markets for recyclate that not only will continue to be in demand five years from now, but that also exhibit a “wow factor” resulting in people to start thinking differently about recycled materials,’ he explains.

Award categories

SAPRO has also revealed that various new categories have been introduced for this year’s competition, namely:

-Packaging for non-food products: Packaging made from recycled plastic and used for non-food packaging products, e.g. homecare, personal care, chemicals, lubricants etc.

-Packaging for food & beverages: Plastic packaging used for food-contact applications.

-Agriculture and related products: Product packaging and items used in the agricultural sector, e.g. irrigation pipes, crop protection, animal feed troughs etc.

-Household & leisure products: Products such as plastic knives, forks and plastic bowls, domestic-ware, broom handles, garden chairs etc.

-Automotive, electronic, technical and engineering: Products such as electric plugs and automobile bumpers, dash boards and mirror housings, machine switches etc.

-Construction & building sector: Products ranging from roof sheeting, building bricks and paving to plumbing applications.

-Textile and clothing: Products manufactured from recycled material in the clothing or allied textile sector.

-Volume Award: Products made of 100 % Post-Consumer Recyclate (PCR). This will be for applications that, in the opinion of the judges, utilises “substantial volumes” of post-consumer recyclate.

-Overall Winner: The overall “best-in-class” application from all of the above categories.

The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 15 September 2021 and entrants are required to deliver the actual, physical product along with the completed entry form, product description and two professional quality, high resolution digital images (minimum of 1MB in size) on a clearly marked CD or memory stick to Plastics SA’s head office in Midrand.

‘We are grateful to Erema and Polyco who have again come onboard as our two main sponsors for this year’s event, as well as to PETCO, the South African Plastics Pact, (facilitated by GreenCape), Packaging SA and Plastics SA who are our silver sponsors,’ said Sereme.

‘SAPRO encourages all plastic recyclers, innovators, converters, product designers and developers to demonstrate their commitment to the environment and saving resources by entering SAPRO’s Best Recycled Plastic Product of the Year Awards. This is an opportunity like none other to highlight the phenomenal work being done by recyclers in South Africa and to bring the innovative, exciting new products being developed to the attention of market leaders, brand owners and the media as we strive to improve market acceptance for products made from recycled plastics by bringing them into the mainstream,’ Sereme concluded.

For more information about the SAPRO Awards for Best Recycled Product of the Year, to download
entry forms and rules as well read more about previous years’ winners, visit
Alternatively email Phil Sereme on or call him on (067) 310-6999.