South Africa joins the global Plastics Pact network

The Plastics Pact Network is pleased to welcome the South African Plastics Pact. A first for Africa, the Plastics Pact’s development has been led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA) with the support of the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) and WRAP, alongside national government support from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF). This national initiative brings together businesses, governments, and NGOs in South Africa to work towards a circular economy for plastic, in which it never becomes waste or pollution.

The global Plastics Pact network has been expanding since the launch of The UK Plastics Pact in 2018, followed by France, Chile, and The Netherlands. The South African Plastics Pact is joining a unique platform to exchange learnings and best practices across countries and regions to accelerate the transition to the circular economy for plastics.

The South African Plastics Pact founding members include: the Clicks Group, Coca-Cola Africa, Danone, Distell, HomeChoice, Massmart, Myplas, Nampak Rigids, Pick n Pay, Polyoak, Polyplank, Shoprite Group, SPAR, Spur Holdings, The Foschini Group, Tigerbrands, Tuffy, Unilever, ADDIS, Waste Plan and Woolworths.

Supporting members include industry associations Fruit South Africa, The South African Plastics Recycling Organisation, The Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation NPC, the Polystyrene Association of South Africa, the PET Recycling Company, the Southern African Vinyls Association, and The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa. As well as the National Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) and the City of Cape Town.

The South African Plastics Pact will work towards the common vision, shared by all national and regional initiatives in the global Plastics Pacts network, as well as over 450 organisations around the world as part of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

In line with this vision, the South African Plastics Pact members will jointly work towards the following 2025 targets:

  • Taking action on problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models
  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled
  • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging

Following the launch on the 30th January 2020, Green Cape will lead the South African Plastics Pact, with the support of WWF-SA and WRAP, and begin developing the roadmap for 2025, towards collective action in the local market. The first African Plastics Pact is welcoming additional members from across the value chain, for further information contact

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation welcomes the announcement of the South African Plastics Pact, the first on the African continent to join the global Plastics Pact network. We are looking forward to supporting the government and industry of South Africa in driving real change towards a circular economy for plastic, by eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic items, innovating to ensure that the plastics they do need are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and circulating the plastic items they use to keep them in the economy and out of the environment. Together we can create a world without plastic waste or pollution.
Sander Defruyt, New Plastics Economy Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

This is a proud day for South Africa as it tackles the scourge of plastic pollution and sets an example for other African countries. We’d like to thank the UK government and UN Environment for their financial support. The SA Plastics Pact members will be instrumental in transforming how plastic is produced and used, ensuring it stays in the economy and out of the environment while creating thousands of jobs for South Africans. It’s also a great example of what can be achieved through rich collaboration and shared learning. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners at World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA), together with business members, to realise our ambitions.
Marcus Gover, CEO WRAP

The SA Plastics Pact has the advantage of working with an established recycling sector but there are challenges. We’ll need to focus on smarter packaging design, alternative delivery models and ways to increase the value of materials. Through the SA Plastics Pact, we can support the development of a secondary resource or ‘circular economy’ in South Africa which will drive investment in infrastructure, support livelihoods and keep our environment free of plastic pollution. We applaud the South African Plastics Pact signatories who are pioneers in taking the first step towards establishing a circular plastics economy nationally and in the region.
Lorren de Kock, Circular Plastics Economy, Policy & Futures Unit, WWF South

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