Why does South Africa need a Plastics Pact?

In South Africa, less than half of all plastic packaging is recycled, with the remainder being landfilled – or worst-case scenario, ending up in the environment. To achieve the targets, we need to fundamentally rethink the way we design, use and reuse plastic. Such a system rethink and redesign cannot be achieved by a single organisation working on its own. All stakeholders, including businesses, governments, NGOs and others need to collaborate.

The SA Plastics Pact will build on the positive work started by other initiatives and help scale up and disseminate good practice more quickly.  By 2025, The SA Plastics Pact will transform the country’s plastic packaging sector by meeting the four ambitious targets:

  1. Taking action on problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through elimination, redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models
  2. 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable*
  3. 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled
  4. 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging

(*this is applicable only in closed loop and controlled systems with sufficient infrastructure available or fit for purpose applications.)

By meeting these targets, the SA Plastics Pact will also stimulate job creation in the South African plastics collection and recycling sector, and help to create new opportunities in product design and reuse business models.