The South African Plastics Pact is the first African Plastics Pact to join a global network of national and regional initiatives that bring together businesses, governments and NGOs in a country or region behind the common vision of the New Plastics Economy. The Plastics Pact network is a unique platform to exchange learnings and best practices across the globe, to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic.

WWF South Africa

Sectors of activity
Environmental Services, Consumer Goods, Waste, incl. Chemicals, Food & Beverage, Industrial Sector

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Start date
14/01/2020

End date
31/01/2020

Shared by

Norah Lewis

Technical Specialist

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Objectives

The impacts of our current take-make-dispose economy are multifaceted and far reaching: plastic pollution kills wildlife, damages natural ecosystems, and contributes to climate change. Of all the plastic produced each year, an estimated eight million tonnes of it leak into the ocean. If we continue business as usual and without significant action, there may be more plastic than fish in the ocean, by weight, by 20501.

In addition to the significant impact on the environment, the lack of a circular product design methodology leads to the loss of valuable material, given the insufficient collection models and after-use systems currently in place. Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. About 12% has been incinerated, while the rest — 79% — has accumulated in landfills, dumps or the natural environment. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates the natural capital cost of plastic at US$8 billion per year, with fisheries, maritime trade and tourism adversely impacted by plastic pollution.

And the use of plastics worldwide keeps growing: 4% per annum in the past 20 years. We urgently need to rethink the way we design, use, and reuse plastics.

WWF has led on the development of a national initiative – The South African Plastics Pact – which brings together key stakeholders in the plastics value chain – businesses, governments and NGOs – behind a common vision to address plastic waste and pollution issues.

The South African Plastics Pact will be the first African Plastics Pact to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global Plastics Pact network of national and regional initiatives that bring together businesses, governments and NGOs in a country or region behind the common vision of the New Plastics Economy. The Plastics Pact network is a unique platform to exchange learnings and best practices across the globe, to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic.

By working towards this vision in South Africa, local action taken by The South African Plastics Pact is aligned with the global ambitions of more than 400 signatories of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, who are united behind a common vision of a circular economy for plastic, in which it never becomes waste or pollution.

Activities

As collected through the One Planet Reporting

Output level

Outreach and communication for SCP

  • South Africa Plastics Pact Launch

Outcome level

SCP monitoring and reporting

  • Scoping visit from Wrap to South Africa to train local partners and encourage business sign-up

Impact and Results

There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from key stakeholders across the plastics value chain, including plastic packaging manufacturers, brands, retailers, recyclers, waste management companies and other organisations, such as plastic industry bodies and producer responsibility organisations. We invite you to join the growing number of founding signatories, which include some of the leading South African brands and retailers, to work together towards a circular economy for plastics in South Africa.

Next steps and how to get involved

Join some of the leading South African brands and retailers and become a South African Plastics Pact founding signatory: info@saplasticspact.co.za