POLYETHYLENE Terephthalate (Pet) Recycling Company of Zimbabwe (Petrecozim) — owned by a consortium of companies with interest in beverage manufacturing — has commenced flake exports to China and India, a company official has said.
The company’s chief operating officer Tawanda Masuka said 200 tonnes of flake — a by-product of pet bottles used as a raw material by fibre manufacturing companies to form filament warm, industrial trimmings and bedding paraphernalia — worth about US$160 000 has been exported since August 2014.
Meanwhile, local blanket manufacturing companies are importing fibre produced from flake back to Zimbabwe.
Masuka said the machine has an operating capacity of 4 tonnes per day but so far was doing 2,5 tonnes because of lack of baling equipment.
“We want to invest in the baling equipment. So very soon we will address the supply side. So far 200 tonnes have been exported to China and India since the company started running. It was a trial period because they wanted to find out whether we meet the standards.
We have heard some issues of oil bottles as one of our customers picked oil in our product,” he said.
Masuka said they were facing problems with recycling empty cooking oil containers because they consume more chemicals and electricity in cleaning them.
He said the company was selling flake at US$800 per tonne to its Asian markets. Shipping prices pegged at US$4 000 per container were weighing down the business.
He added the company was competing with companies that operate in better environments.
“There are a lot of challenges, the market is not kind to us. We will find ways to grow the business by increasing volumes so that fixed costs go down,”Masuka said.
He said Petrecozim would soon export to South Africa, adding that such a market would increase productivity as it was taking six weeks to deliver the consignments to China and India.
Masuka said the company was acquiring empty pet plastics from a group of trained vendors at US$0,15 per kg, adding that brown plastics were costing 5-8 cents per kg. Petrecozim is working on modalities to open empty pet bottle collection centers in Mutare and Bulawayo
The company is jointly owned by Delta Beverages, Coca cola Central Africa, Schweppes, Mega pack, Dairiboard, Tanganda tea, Lyons and Mutare Bottling Company.