The Paper Recycling Association of South Africa (PRASA) has produced a set of graphics that just about anyone can apply on paper-based packaging and communication materials.
The basic message is short and simple: Recycle this product – whether it be a box, a brochure or a document.
PRASA’s primary aim is to reduce the amount of recoverable and recyclable paper that goes into South African landfills every day. It does this by raising awareness around what is recyclable and how to recycle, thereby progressively increasing paper recovery rates from households, businesses and schools.
Progress is being made. PRASA reports that in 2015 South Africans recycled more than 1.2 million tonnes of paper – a volume equivalent to 3.6 million cubic metres of landfill space. In support of this very positive trend, PRASA has developed a set of graphics that can easily merge into the design of packaging materials, flyers, posters and other printed items to prompt consumers to recycle rather than discard. They are available Adobe Illustrator, EPS and Jpeg formats.
“There are still many people who do not know what is recyclable. By printing these graphics on the very products that need to be separated from wet and non-recyclable waste, we hope that they will add to our awareness efforts,” says operations director Ursula Henneberry.
“Paper is a completely renewable resource, and it is in fact by using paper products that we benefit the environment. This is because paper companies farm trees – as one would a crop of wheat or maize – for the purpose of making paper,” she says.
The recycling process itself reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.Here’s why: Within its molecular structure, paper contains the carbon which the trees had absorbed from the environment. If paper fibres are recycled – even up to seven times – the carbon remains intact. If paper is discarded into landfills, it degrades and carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere.
Another big benefit of recycling is job creation – from the people who walk the streets collecting recyclables to bigger companies that employ individuals to collect and sort recyclables. More than 150,000 people have jobs, because trees are farmed and paper products are made and recycled.