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What can be recycled?

Knowledge is power. Please dispose of these items responsibly and don’t allow them to end up in a landfill.

When it comes to office paper recycling or paper and cardboard recycling, there is a wide range of paper materials that can be diverted from landfill.

  • Used cardboard boxes 
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Pamphlets 
  • White office paper 
  • Coloured paper 
  • Cereal boxes
  • Liquid packaging

Plastic materials are widely recycled

  • Cold drink bottles
  • Mineral water bottles
  • Milk bottles
  • Sauce bottles
  • Plastic furniture, buckets
  • Clear plastic bags
  • Mixed plastic bags
  • Shrink wrap
  • Polypropylene
  • Bottle caps

Tin and can recycling in SouthAfrica is one of the areas of waste management that is on the increase, especially in households.

  • Aluminium and metal food and beverage cans

Anything that runs on batteries or electricity is considered eWaste

Glass recycling in South Africa is on the increase.

  • Glass (food and beverage glass only)

Liquid packaging, which is sometimes referred to as Tetrapak, is a grade of packaging material which is now recyclable.

  • Long-life milk boxes 
  • Wine boxes 
  • Fruit juice boxes

What PLASTICS can be recycled?


Most recycled material and a singular grade
Vanilla product – Major market all the same
Collection effort well advanced
Properties deteriorate if not done correctly – Sensitive but controllable
Food contact product leader


Robust and stable material for recycling – Best in class
HDPE product diversity and properties varies and have impact on recyclable product performance
Food contact technology to be improved and developed
Excellent for non-food contact applications


Sensitive to degradation due to chemistry
Food contact technology to be improved and developed
Excellent for non-food contact applications

How to guides

Helpful links

Where to recycle plastics in South Africa

The Sustainable Sea Trust has an interactive map that shows thousands of collectors, recyclers, depots, landfills, swap shops and buy-back centres in most major centres in South Africa.

If you live in the Western Cape, the Green Map has a list of recycling companies that cover different areas of Cape Town. Some offer collections; others have drop-off points.

Some suburbs in South Africa have recycling collection services run by civic associations or community groups for a monthly fee.

For more remote suburbs in South Africa, search community Facebook pages or a local directory for recycling depots and drop-off points.

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