According to Tuffy, South Africa's department of environment, forestry and fisheries have identified the country's 'green economy' as a sector that could contribute to economic recovery from the devastating impact of COVID-19.

"As integral as plastic is to modern life, we can no longer ignore the devastating effect plastic waste is having on nature. The amount of plastic waste has ballooned in recent times and found its way into the environment at a tragic cost to South Africa's natural heritage and wildlife," says Tuffy.

The brand highlights that the World Economic Forum had reported, for example, that by 2050 there may be more plastic in the ocean than fish. This, according to Tuffy, is what drove it to 'do its part' in driving much-needed education, awareness and behaviour change.

Tuffy says that its partnership with WWF South Africa is a true testament to its long-held commitment to the adoption of environmentally friendly production methods.

Having pioneered the refuse bag-on-a-roll concept in South Africa, Tuffy says that it has subsequently established itself at the forefront of the global sustainability agenda through its leadership in recycled content in plastics manufacturing.

"We are delighted to be partnering with WWF South Africa in amplifying the need for increased knowledge around sustainability issues. At a time when ecological awareness is more important than ever, it is our responsibility as manufacturers to drive forward environmental goals and effect real change that can be facilitated even further with collaboration across the board," says Rory Murray, Tuffy's marketing head.

Justin Smith, head of the business development Unit at WWF South Africa, says, "Tuffy is an iconic South African business that has driven real innovation in plastic recycling. We are incredibly grateful to them for their support of WWF's work."

The partnership follows Tuffy's role as a founding member of the South African Plastics Pact, a national initiative developed by the WWF South Africa in 2019. The initiative sees various key stakeholders have set a series of ambitious 2025 targets to establish a circular plastics economy for South Africa. 

Tuffy was the first organisation in the country to be certified for using 100% recycled material in its refuse bags (75% of the recycled content is the waste generated by the public that would otherwise end up in landfill).

It was also the first to receive accreditation from an international product verification company to verify the claim 100% recycled. 

Tuffy says that it has also been producing regular grocery carrier bags using 100% recycled material, with the same certification standard as their refuse bags. These, according to the brand, are initiatives that have substantially increased the use of recycled content in the plastic industry.

Tuffy now on average recycles 544 311 kilograms of plastic per month, which is the weight of approximately 113 elephants.

"Having gone the distance in terms of withstanding difficult market circumstances in the local manufacturing environment, and when so many have chosen to outsource to the Asian continent, we've remained committed to supporting South African livelihoods and job creation," concludes Murray.

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