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WHO PAYS THE BILL?
collect a can | eco-tickets program


COLLECT-A-CAN


website: www.collectacan.co.za


collect a can
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what: Collect-A-Can was founded by Iscor, Nampak (Metal Box) and Crown Cork in 1993, with the express purpose of addressing its shareholders’’ corporate responsibility towards the environment and the ‘cradle-to-grave’ needs of the steel beverage can industry. While Collect-a-Can is a not-for-profit company, funding is seen as an investment by its shareholders.

why: the company's core business is the recovery of used steel beverage cans (UBC) but it also recovers aerosol, aluminium, food, oil and paint cans. Since its inception in 1993, the company's strategy has been to create a win-win situation not only for its shareholders, but also for the environment, the people and the governments of southern Africa, through optimising the cost-effective recovery of used beverage cans in the region.

where: Collect-a-Can’s head office is situated in Midrand, South Africa. In South Africa Collect-a-Can has branches in Pretoria, Aeroton, Vanderbijlpark, Durban and Cape Town. There are a number of main collection points in Botswana and Namibia with indirect operations in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

how: collectors form their own collection networks and deliver their cans direct to one of the company’s branches, for which they receive top market related prices. In other cases where collectors do not have access to transport, they link up with individual entrepreneurs. On arrival at the branches, the cans are weighed; steel and other cans separated, and then the cans are crushed into bales. Collectors range in age from 7 to 50+ years old.

results: the company’s recovery rate of all steel beverage cans sold in southern Africa has grown from a modest 18% in 1993 to an all-time high of 64.2% in 2002.
In terms of quoted international recovery rates, the region now ranks in the top six worldwide. As an acknowledged world class player in its field, Collect-A-Can has not only been approached to assist in establishing similar operations in Argentina and Brazil but is also currently evaluating requests to extend its operations in Africa to countries such as Angola, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia.

positive impact: by enlisting the help of local communities and the people who need money the most, Collect-a-Can’s activities have increased awareness amongst the public, especially the youth, who are sensitised to the importance of environmental responsibility. Moreover, can litter used to contribute 8% towards total litter, but currently contribute less than 1%.

Aside from cleaning up the environment, Collect-A-Can has created jobs and nearly "37,773 people are earning or supplementing their income through can recoveries", reads a statement by the company. Poverty has also been alleviated as more than 270 million rands (US$43 million) have been paid to collectors in the last 10 years.

looking ahead: Collect-a-Can has both long and short-term strategies for environmental education. Short-term, collectors are paid cash for their endeavours, the environment is effectively cleaned, and environmental awareness is created. Long-term, can collecting competitions and educational programmes at schools are creating great awareness among future generations of the advantages of recycling.

sustainable biz: the beverage industry understands that it is more cost-effective to fund Collect-a-Can than any government imposed alternative. Through this system the companies also address social responsibility by providing an income to those who are unemployed and collect cans for money to survive. Collect-a-Can strives to sustain this practice and give them an income.


contacts


Head Office5/13 Forssman Close, Barbeque Downs,Kyalami, Midrand, South Africa.P.O.Box 30500Kyalami, 1684ph (011) 466-2939fax (011) 466-2941
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