Benchmarks and minimum requirements in the SANBWA Standard

SANBWA helps its members meet their environmental responsibility by including benchmarks and minimum requirements in SANBWA Standard, and measuring member compliance during the annual SANBWA Standard audit. These minimum requirements include:

1. Water source protection

SANBWA requires members to conduct a source vulnerability assessment (SVA) to ensure sustainability and prevent contamination of the water source. This should include, for:

Underground sources

  • Hydrogeological assessment
  • Watershed and groundwater basin map
  • Zones of protection delineated
  • Identified vulnerabilities such as
  • Potential source of pollution both on and off site
  • Socio-political factors such as regulatory actions, public perceptions, for example
  • Water rights, competing interests
  • Security
  • Potential for natural disasters
  • Risk assessment, that is, likelihood of occurrence

Public or private owned source, that is, previously treated water that has been purchased

  • Information on the source and the controlling agencies
  • Map vulnerabilities to the water supply (water treatment and delivery systems)
  • Map the plant watershed and identify alternative sources of water
  • Copies of the supplier’s vulnerability assessments and water safety plans
  • Identify possible sources of pollution and water rights issues
  • Source monitoring program based on vulnerabilities and risk identified in SVA
  • Source protection plan including motivation why source is sustainable, emergency response and contingency plan, community outreach, water management programs

2. Efficient water use

Water usage is the measurements of usage of water per volume of finished product, usage of water shall include direct and indirect water usage (such as water for sanitation, vehicle washing, floor washing, toilets etc.) and includes water from boreholes and municipal source.

Water usage is calculated by dividing the actual volume of water used (including municipal water) by the net litres of the final product.

The South African industry benchmark is 1.8:1, but there are plants that achieve ratios of as low as 1.3:1 – 1.4:1 by recycling their bottle rinse water.

SANBWA’s action plan for effective water usage management includes:

  • Setting a formal goal for the plant with monthly targets.
  • Documenting monthly results, available for inspection.
  • Documenting and implement Water minimization procedures such as:
  • Installing meters for monitoring water usage in the plant
  • Educating staff on wastage costs and conservation efforts
  • Eliminating leaks and hidden usage.
  • Installing automatic shut-off valves on bottle washers.
  • Designing CIP systems for water efficiency
  • Discouraging indiscriminate use of water hoses and providing self-closing spray nozzles.

3. Responsible effluent practices

SANBWA members shall implement responsible effluent practices.

The plant shall document and implement a suitable effluent management plan according to the waste generated versus. the treatment required, should waste water not be discharged into a municipal system.

They shall also measure the volume of waste water discharged from the facility together with the waste water organic load, and chemical waste discharge should be such as to not present a risk to the environment.

4. Solid waste management

Solid waste includes paper, plastic, steel, aluminium, cardboard, glass, wood and soon, as well as liquid waste such as oil, waste syrup, and waste water treatment plant sludge. Solid waste includes all materials that cannot be reclaimed and re-used on site as part of the production process.

Solid waste recovery is the measurement of waste recovered through recycling, composting and/or energy recovery as a percentage of the total amount of solid waste generated. It is measured as a percentage and is calculated by dividing the waste by kilogram x 100 (recycled + composted + sent for energy recovery) by the total solid waste generated by kilogram.

SANBWA’s action plan for effective solid waste management includes:

  • To reduce:
    • Measure and document solid waste recovery on a monthly / annual basis.
    • Document and implement a solid waste minimization program such as:
    • Improve product and pack yields.
    • Good housekeeping results in proper care of materials, thus reducing waste
    • Preventative maintenance programs lengthen the useful life of equipment and reduce waste generation.
    • Minimise packaging. Support industry initiatives. (500ml PET performs have migrated from 32 gram ten years ago to as low as 22 gram recently, depending on the product, process and acceptable shelf life.
  • To re-use:
    • Move towards re-usable outer packaging without compromising quality (pallets, trays, crates, divider boards, layer pads)
    • To recycle:
    • Recycle all pre-consumer PET, all solid waste as glass, polyprop caps etc.
    • Strive to zero landfill.
    • Have evidence available of a formal agreement with a recycling company for collection of waste to be recycled.
    • Have evidence of waste removal for recycling and its destination.
    • Materials that can be recycled are segregated at the facility from other materials to facilitate recycling.

5. Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is calculated by dividing the monthly electricity usage in KJ + LP gas usage in KJ + diesel or propane usage in KJ by the total monthly product in litres.

SANBWA’s action plan for improving energy efficiency includes:

  • Undertaking an energy audit to identify consumption and potential areas for conservation.
  • Installing energy efficient lighting in the plant.
  • Shutting down services during non-production periods.
  • Training and educating all staff regarding energy conservation.
  • Assessing forklift truck fuel type as to costs and application.
  • Repairing any steam leaks immediately
  • Providing caustic recovery settling tank with insulation.
  • Implementing an integrated approach in improving transport efficiency by deploying greater capacity vehicles, consolidating warehouses, widening delivery time windows, transport collaboration, logistics system redesign, for example.

6. Recyclable packaging

The recycling of packaging does not begin with its collection, but rather with its design.

Therefore, to maximise the recycling of plastic packaging, it is essential that retailers, brand owners, packaging manufacturers and designers embed recyclability principles into their pack design processes so that, at the end of its life, the packaging material can be successfully recycled and used again in new products and packaging.

Truly designing for the environment is about product stewardship, about forward-thinking initiatives, about innovation and breaking new ground to realise never-before-seen solutions.

PET plastic is 100% recyclable when basic design principles are followed, and SANBWA’s members are encouraged to follow PETCO’s Design for Recyclability guidelines, which focus on the design of PET plastic packaging to facilitate recycling.

Read more about design for recyclability here.

7. Post-consumer PET recycling

In 2019, together with its recyclers, buy-back centres, formal and informal reclaimers, and consumers, PETCO’s members recycled 62% of all PET plastic beverage bottles placed on the market, 95 879 tonnes of used soft drink and water bottles.

This recycling initiative saved 594 448 cubic metres of landfill space and 144 000 tonnes of carbon emissions. It also contributed to our economy by creating 65 900 income opportunities in recycling and injecting R1.1 billion into the downstream economy.

SANBWA and its members support post-consumer PET recycling by:

  • Only supporting suppliers contributing to the PETCO levy.
  • Establishing a drop-off centre for the public at their bottling facilities and all distribution centres.
  • Identifying the neighbourhood PET recyclers and publicising these to encourage local recycling.
  • Adding the ‘please recycle’ sign on all labels.
  • Using recycling friendly materials or recycling optimal materials.

South African recycling rates (2019) for PET and other beverage packaging formats are: