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How a South African roof tile innovation will recycle 29 million plastic bottles per year

A proudly South African company, Harvey Roofing Products (a division of the Macsteel Group), famous for Harvey steel roof tiles, is developing a high-tech new roof tile innovation from 98% waste material.

The ‘EcoTile’ roof tile has the ability to eliminate 29 million, 2 liter used plastic milk bottles from landfill sites in South Africa. Each tile will utilize 3.8 recycled bottles and is 100% recyclable. In addition, the product input does not require any water resource, an increasingly scarce in South Africa. With recent focus on the effect that discarded plastic products have on ocean life and our natural rivers and dams, Harvey EcoTile®’s development could not be more timeous.

The tiles, engineered from a mineral polymer blend, are a superior alternative to heavier clay or concrete roof tiles. Harvey Roofing Products General Manager Sales & Marketing, Albie Jordaan says the innovative  product has been developed to outperform conventional clay/concrete tiles in every way.

“We realized that for Harvey EcoTile® to gain acceptance in the construction industry, the product has  to outperform conventional tiles in all functional areas as well as be aesthetically pleasing” says Jordaan. “Harvey EcoTile® is four times stronger yet three times lighter than concrete tiles. Combining these advantages makes it possible to transport four times more Harvey EcoTile® as opposed to conventional roof tiles, limiting transportation cost and on-site breakages.We estimate that breakages can be reduced by up to 10% in the full value chain. Most important, endless  maintenance on horizontal roof ridges will be a thing of the past”

The idea of composite roof tiles is not new. Experimentation started in the early 90’s and similar tile concepts do exist elsewhere in the world. However, none have captured market share due to a lack of economy of scale, UV stability challenges and stringent quality control on material inputs. As an established roofing manufacturer, Harvey Roofing Products has the necessary engineering expertise, manufacturing capacity, supply chain and distribution footprint to produce and supply a consistent product.

Aesthetically, the shape of a Harvey EcoTile® is similar to that of a Double Roman concrete tile but its fixing methodology will result in a roof being a single impregnable unit. Given the engineering of the product , it will display symmetrical lines once installed.  This means a complete roof will be weather, water and dust proof as all gaps are eliminated.

Harvey EcoTile® will provide opportunities for community development as the recycled plastic needed will be sourced from community projects. Product testing including fire resistance, wind uplift and accelerated weathering has been completed and Harvey Roofing Products estimates full-scale production will commence in November 2020.

For more information on this innovative product, contact Albie Jordaan, Harvey Roofing Products on (011) 741 5600. (e mail –

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