Technological watch

The UK Plastics Pact inspires latest in the global network tackling plastic pollution

WRAP is delighted to have supported the development of the South African Plastics Pact; the latest in the global network working together to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution.

Launched yesterday in Cape Town, the Pact is closely modelled on the world-first UK Plastics Pact, set up by WRAP in 2018. It is the latest member of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact global network, aligned with the New Plastics Economy vision. It now joins the UK, France, the Netherlands and Chile, to exchange knowledge and collaborate to drive a circular economy for plastic so that it never becomes waste.

The South African Plastics Pact brings together key players from the local plastics value chain, including businesses, the South African government, NGOs and other organisations.

Members have committed to four targets to stimulate the design of plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable and drive the use of recycled content in new products – ending the make, use and dispose culture which has led to too much plastic waste leaching into the countryside and oceans.

By delivering on the targets, the Pact will also help boost job creation in the South African plastics collection and recycling sector and help to create new opportunities in product design and reuse business models.

It is the first of its kind in Africa and the aim is for the Pact to play a pioneering role in the country and across the continent.

WRAP has played a major role in the development of the Pact and has worked closely with local partners WWF-SA and the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO).

WRAP’s support was enabled by funding support from Government of Japan through the United Nations Environment Programme under the framework of the One-Planet Network's Sustainable Lifestyles & Education Programme, and the Commonwealth Litter Programme, funded by Defra, along with logistical support from the British High Commission in Pretoria.

Said Peter Skelton, who has led on the project for WRAP: “’When we launched The UK Plastics Pact in 2018 we hoped it would inspire other counties to adopt the same ambitious approach. We are delighted to have been able to be part of the development of the South African Plastics Pact.

“We have been able to share experience with our partners in South Africa, always ensuring the Pact is designed for the local context. This is a great example of what can be achieved through rich collaboration and shared learning and we look forward to continuing to work with our South African colleagues on this vital piece of work towards a world free of plastic waste.”

Publication date: 31/01/2020


This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2022-01-31