Cutting the impressive birthday cake are the owners, Jakes, Leonie and Leani Jacobs. Photo: Alida de Beer
GEORGE BUSINESS NEWS - In celebrating Outeniqua Plastics' 10 years of existence, owners Jakes, Leonie and Leani Jacobs and their staff took a breather in order to rejoice in the success of their business they painstakingly carved into the history of George.
Outeniqua Plastics has become a regional leader in the recycling and job creation field. At the same time, they have become one of the main suppliers of dustbin bags to most municipalities all over South Africa, including City of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan and Buffalo City, to name but a few. All bags are made from recycled plastic.
Readers who are wondering what happens to their recyclable plastic will be impressed to know that it is 100% recycled after being delivered to the Outeniqua Platics plant in Nelson Mandela Boulevard (the old McCains factory). Here it is sorted, washed, melted and transformed into strings that are chopped into pellets. The intricate manufacturing process then sees it being processed into film form and finally dustbin bags, sleeves (to protect grape vines), woodbags and many other products.
The printing of the bags is also done in-house, and the whole production - after 10 years of perfecting it - is running as smoothly as one can expect. There vehicle fleet ensures speedy delivery to clients.
When Jakes and Leonie moved to George 10 years ago to start afresh after buying up a bankrupt factory, little did they know that it would grow into a business that employs more than 100 people full-time. The company delivers approximately 400t of plastic products per month, made from 90% recycled raw materials for this intricate operation.
"Only 10% of the plastic used is new - the rest is household waste from George and neighbouring areas.
The success of the thriving business can be attributed to the Jacobs family being totally hands-on. They do not only design and manufacture and install their own machinery, they have also personally trained their staff to run the machines and carry out a myriad of tasks required for such an involved process.
This is all thanks to the technical expertise of Jakes and his team who service, design and keep all machinery in working order as well as the managerial skills of Leonie and daughter Leani who keep their fingers on the pulse of the administrative and human resource sections. At their new premises (they have been there for a year now) they run a small canteen where staff can buy two nutritious meals, snacks and small grocery hampers on account, to see them through the difficult days.
The plastic production machinery can be adjusted to produce the various thickness of bags. Outeniqua Plastics pays for the household waste material and thus provides an income for people who make a living collecting it. The sorting and washing of plastic waste is done at the factory and even the water used to wash the plastic waste is harvested from rainwater that falls on the factory roof.
In 2010 and 2011 Outeniqua Plastics was the runner-up in the George Business Chamber Business Person of the year. While this recognition was gratifying, management finds it equally important that their business has thrived from word-of-mouth referrals.
They also sponsor various organisations such as the George Rugby Club, Pink Trees for Pauline and many others. Keeping the staff happy and motivated is paramount to their business and on Monday a celebration with cake and new T-shirts was held at their factory premises to commemorate their 10th birthday.
Leonie and Leani Jacobs run their fingers through the plastic chips that are produced from recycled plastic waste materials collected in George. The whole factory is environmentally friendly - even rain water harvested from the factory roof is used in the process. Photo: Pauline Lourens
The Outeniqua Plastics team in high spirits during their 10th birthday celebrations. Photos: Alida de Beer
The management team of Outeniqua Plastics are from left: Jannie Wessels, Dewald van der Merwe, Leani Jacobs, Jakes Jacobs, Leonie Jacobs, Charles Oosthuizen, Wilmé Gous, Robert du Plessis and Simone van Rooyen-Olivier. Photo: Alida de Beer
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