ZIMBABWE – Dairy processing companies in Zimbabwe have joined forces to initiate a groundbreaking recycling pact aimed at addressing the issue of carton waste. 

The partnership involves Dairibord, Kefalos, Prodairy, and Dendairy, in conjunction with the Dairy Processors Association of Zimbabwe, entering into a partnership supported by Tetra Pak, a leading packaging and processing solutions company. 

The pact, which marks the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, is geared towards recycling up to 1,000 tonnes of carton waste annually at peak capacity.  

While detailed plans for the project’s execution are yet to be disclosed, signatories to the agreement express optimism about its potential to foster waste management practices in the country. 

Amkela Sidange, speaking on behalf of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), commended the initiative, emphasizing its alignment with constitutional provisions for a clean and healthy environment.  

“I would like to thank dairy manufacturers for realising the need for a sustainable way of managing waste, which is in line with our environmental rights of a clean, safe and healthy environment as enshrined under Section 73 of the Zimbabwe Constitution.”  

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce also applauded the project, citing its consistency with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and its potential to generate employment opportunities. 

In addition, Tetra Pak representatives reiterated the importance of collaboration in achieving a circular economy, emphasizing a target of recycling at least 40% of carton packaging waste.  

“This is the starting point; now is the time we need to work together and boost the circular economy. We don’t want packages in the streets, we don’t want packages in a landfill, we want to collect and recycle and turn it into something else,” Tetra Pak Managing Director, Southern Africa, Mr. Klaus Plenge, said. 

He underscored the need to eliminate packaging waste from streets and landfills, advocating for a concerted effort to collect and recycle materials effectively. 

Themba Mutsvairo of the Dairy Processors Association of Zimbabwe highlighted the initiative’s significance in promoting environmental sustainability and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

He stressed the multifaceted benefits of recycling, including resource conservation, job creation, economic stimulation, and improved public health. 

Observers lauded the collaboration between the public and private sectors, citing its potential to create new green jobs, reduce waste accumulation, and mitigate environmental harm.  

Chiyedza Heri of Ubuntu Alliance Climate Finance praised the initiative for advancing green infrastructure development and fostering synergies between government agencies, regulatory bodies, and businesses. 

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