Polyoak Packaging is a founding partner of The Aurora International Taste Challenge and we are very proud to be associated with their brand.
Recently we did an interview with Polyoak Packaging to learn more about this company.
When was this company founded, and how did it start?
Polyoak Packaging was founded in 1976 in Diepriver, which is still its head office today. It started making plastic garment hangers but soon moved into food packaging, beginning with plastic bottles for the dairy industry. Today Polyoak benefits from its almost forty years of food packaging experience.
What are some of the unique features of your company/brand?
Polyoak is a fully South African company – a one-stop shop because it specialises in packaging design and development, mould manufacture, injection, blow and compression moulding. It also has its own in-house microbiology laboratory to conduct analysis on its packaging.
Quality assurance is guaranteed with internationally recognised health and safety accreditations including FSSC22000.
Tell us about the production side?
Polyoak has almost fifty manufacturing plants and finishing departments across South Africa with facilities also in Namibia (Windhoek), Zimbabwe (Harare) and Eswatini. Polyoak is geared towards high volume, low cost production achieved through advanced technology and small teams of experts working closely together in partnership with the customer to deliver high quality packaging solutions. Polyoak specialises in the design and manufacture of blow, injection and compression moulded and thermoformed packaging for dairy, beverage and food markets, as well as industrial applications. This includes bottles, closures, drums, buckets and tubs made from plastics such as PET, high density polyolefin (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP).
What do you think is your distinct advantage or reason for your success?
Polyoak’s packaging has been designed and optimised for recycling which enables us to offer truly sustainable packaging solutions. In fact, Polyoak’s HDPE bottles are the most recycled beverage packaging in South Africa! 80% of milk bottles are collected for recycling into bins, crates, bags and new bottles for detergents and personal care products. 62% of PET beverage bottles are collected for recycling and over 80% of plastic (PP) ice-cream, yoghurt and spreads tubs are re-used multiple times once empty for storing food, stationary etc. Recent local lifecycle assessments (LCA’s) show that plastic bottles have a much lower carbon footprint than carton, glass and metal alternatives. Polyoak’s rigid plastic packaging is cost-effective, lightweight and better for the environment.
Polyoak is working closely with the relevant producer responsibility organisations to raise awareness about the importance of recycling to help eliminate plastic pollution.
Polyoak is a founding member of the South African Plastics Pact launched to develop a circular economy when plastic packaging never becomes waste.
How do you see your company or product on the global stage?
Polyoak’s greatest asset is its people. This homegrown talent has proudly led to Polyoak winning numerous international packaging awards, often being the only South African packaging company on the podium. Most recently we partnered with Danone to win the food category with a gold medal in the Goldpack Awards for our fully recyclable, in-mould labelled yoghurt tubs range. Our 38mm dairy closure also won a Worldstar Award for being the lightest dairy closure in South Africa!
In what countries are your products available?
Polyoak has extensive distribution networks that enables it to partner with customers mainly in the SADC region including Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Mauritius.
Do you perhaps have a social responsibility drive? Tell us about it.
Polyoak focuses on the holistic wellbeing of its circa 2,500 employees with wellness programmes and continuous development through its dedicated in-house education and training division, Polyoak Business School.
Polyoak continues to work towards its BEE employment equity targets and to uplift the communities in which it operates. In 2020 Polyoak and its employees personally donated R6 million towards Covid-19 relief for the provision of personal protective equipment for frontline workers, Covid test kits and essential medical equipment as well as electronic food vouchers to help feed needy communities and valued waste reclaimers that were unable to earn a living collecting recycling during the lockdown.
The Polyoak Family Educational Foundation provides tertiary bursaries for its employees’ children and it runs literacy programmes at local schools.
Polyoak has a strong belief in empowerment through education and it is extremely proud of its Teachers Plus Foundation which offers scholarships to talented students from high-economic-need communities so that they may acquire the qualifications, support and experience they need to become outstanding Mathematics teachers. www.teachersplus.co.za