Masvingo recycling firm grows in leaps and bounds
George Maponga in Masvingo
A Masvingo-based plastic waste processing firm, Stable Plastics, is making a huge mark in the fight against the proliferation of non-biodegradable materials through the recycling of close to 20 tonnes of plastic waste, monthly, which is used to make various plastic products.
Stable Packaging, based in the Masvingo Industrial area, has earned plaudits for changing the lives of more than 200 families drawn from Chiredzi, Masvingo, Zvishavane, Gweru, Mutare and Harare, that make a living from picking plastic waste which is purchased by the firm for recycling at its fledgling plant in the ancient city’s industrial area.
Stable Packaging runs two extrusion machines, at its plant, that recycle plastic waste to make polystyrene takeaway containers, wrapping plastic and other types of plastic mainly for use in the fast food industry.
The firm caters for Masvingo City’s needs and also other major towns and cities in Zimbabwe. It is now eyeing the export market.
Managing Director Mr Farai Marecha says Stable Packaging’s workforce has grown from only 3 in 2011 when the firm was founded to around 21 employees at the moment with plans to expand further in the offing.
“We are recycling about 3 to 4 tonnes of plastic waste per week and barring the prevailing power outages we could be even doing better and growing our workforce,” said Mr Marecha.
“We now have 2 extrusion machines and one pipeline machine for making irrigation pipes. We got a huge take-off in 2019 after the advent of the new dispensation when we got a loan of between US$100-150 000 from SMEDCO( Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation).”
According to Mr Marecha the future augurs well for his organisation which is a crucial EMA partner in the fight against litter.
” We are buying plastic waste at US$0.35 per kg from our supplies who are mostly women and some of them supply us with up to 500kg per person monthly, which means they also make good money to look after their families,” says Mr Marecha.
Stable Packaging paid homage to the new dispensation under President Mnangagwa for attending to the needs of small businesses with the plastic waste recycler already having been allocated a 1200 square-metre stand in the industrial area to build a bigger permanent plant thanks to facilitation by Government.
Access to hard currency to import machinery and additives required in plastic recycling has also improved since the advent of the New Dispensation.
In 2021 Vice President Constantino Chiwenga toured Stable Packaging and praised the firm for adding impetus to Government’s Vision 2030 agenda by tackling the ghost of litter proliferation and creating jobs.