by Heike Fischer
Food-grade rPET with a capacity of up to 500 tonnes/month is produced by the Polysmart Group in Nigeria. The distribution partner is Shad Polymers in Dubai, UAE. PETplanet met live and remotely the dynamic business people running the companies: Wasiu Balogun of Polysmart has dedicated his career to implementing sustainable and environmentally friendly projects in Nigeria in the packaging and recycling industry. Girish Wadhwani is a co-founder of Shad Polymers DMCC. Both bring a wealth of experience in trading and distribution.
PETplanet: Mr Wadhwani, could you tell us about the initial idea for rPET and the current status of the company?
Wadhwani: Food grade rPET is manufactured by Polysmart Group in Nigeria and distributed by Shad Polymers in Dubai, UAE. Polysmart Packaging Ltd. started operation in January 2013 at Ota, Ogun State Nigeria. Polysmart Packaging belongs to the Polysmart Group. Polysmart Group is a fusion of three companies: Polysmart Packaging Limited, Switch and Recycling Innovations Ltd and Crystal Packaging Ltd. Faced with the increase in plastic waste and to contribute to a greener environment, the founders of the Polysmart Group decided to set up a recycling plant to support this cause and export food-grade rPET to consumers who believe in their vision of a green planet and a reduction in global warming.
PETplanet: In 2022, Polysmart Group began producing food-grade rPET. What technology do you use? What is your current capacity and to which countries and markets do you sell the most rPET?
Wadhwani: Polysmart uses European technology approved by FDA and Efsa. Our capacity is 500 tonnes per month and we propose to sell to Europe and USA.
PETplanet: What is the importance of the African & European market for Polysmart?
Wadhwani: Africa is our home and we are committed to serving the continent that it should not become a dumping ground for the wealthy nations waste as we have enough plastic scrap from our own consumption. To meet this objective, Polysmart has taken the initiative to contribute to this cause and recycle PET waste and convert it to high quality food grade rPET.
PETplanet: How do you assess the current PET packaging market? And how do you think this market will develop? Where do you see growth potential for the sale of rPET worldwide?
Wadhwani: The PET packaging market is currently experiencing unprecedented growth. This is due to a number of factors, including increasing demand for packaged food and beverages, growing awareness of environmental issues, government regulations and the emergence of new technologies. By the year 2050 we expect that 50% of the material required would be recycled, reusable and environment friendly. Due to this many projects are on stream to meet this demand.
PETplanet: There are more and more companies around the world that attach importance to a sustainable economy. How do you assess the efforts towards a sustainable economy in West Africa?
Wadhwani: Africa has the largest bottle recycling plants in Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana. We expect many more plants to start operation in the next five years. The movement for a sustainable circular economy is catching speed and with the resources available in Africa, we expect Africa to be the leading continent to service global sustainable cycles.
PETplanet: We at PETplanet will be doing an interview tour, our so-called Editour, of the Middle East this autumn. Which regions can you recommend to us? Where do you see promising developments in the packaging industry?
Wadhwani: I would suggest visiting UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman.
PETplanet: Even though it is almost impossible to predict the future: Where do you see Polysmart Group and Shad Polymers in ten years?
Wadhwani: We expect to be in the top five players in West Africa. We plan to increase our capacity fivefold in the near future.
PETplanet: Thank you very much for your time and your willingness to share your knowledge with us!
Wadhwani: Thank you for giving Polysmart Group and Shad Polymers an opportunity to share our products through your platform.