It is essential for plastics industry value chain to unite, says Anton Hanekom, Executive Director of Plastics/SA.

End Plastic Pollution – South African Alliance

PLASTICS|SA – the umbrella body representing the entire plastics industry in South Africa – invites all role players in the plastics value chain to jointly find workable solutions to end plastic pollution in our oceans and environment: Join the South African Alliance to End Plastic Pollution.

South Africa’s plastic pollution problem is at risk of being sidelined in the global battle to eliminate plastic waste from our environment. Never before has the issue of plastics pollution – and specifically plastics in our oceans – been so central. During the last two years in particular, global initiatives such as ‘The New Plastic Economy Global Commitments’ and the ‘Global Alliance’ were created with the aim of encouraging players in the plastics industry to pledge their commitment to reducing plastic pollution in the oceans.

Whilst these efforts are commendable they fail to address the South African problem directly. We have our own, unique challenges in waste management infrastructure, education and awareness that must be addressed.

We do not have the luxury of time to wait for these international alliances to shift their focus onto South Africa.

We need to develop a workable, local plan – and we need to do so now; a plan that is aligned to international initiatives, but that finds innovative solutions that fit the South African context and our particular environmental, socio-political and economic realities.


What is the South African Alliance?

The South African Alliance to End Plastic Pollution in the Environment is a united group of all role players in the local plastics value chain that will collaborate to prevent and ultimately end plastic pollution in the environment.

Our first priority will be tackling problematic ‘single use’ packaging by finding solutions and developing the best environmentally sustainable applications. We also urgently need to increase the plastics recycling rates and make more products available with increased recycled content.

But sustainable life cycle assessments must form the basis for these solutions and more. To achieve this, our environment will require much more access to research facilities and technological landscapes together with the critical involvement of our government, businesses, NGOs, existing environmental and community networks, as well as every day South Africans.


Expedited timing

The development of a focused, collaborative local South African Alliance to End Plastic Pollution is underway and must be expedited to make immediate impacts whilst remaining cognisant of external factors like the Global initiatives (2025), the National Development Plan (2030), together with the objectives and rollout of the proposed Packaging and Paper Industry Waste Management Plan.

And existing projects such as the home-grown, mobile recycling alternative to separation at source, Packa-Ching, would be useful, interim initiatives to deal with the lack of waste management infrastructure.

But we cannot solve the exploding problem of plastic pollution in the environment without all members of the plastics value chain constructively finding and implementing effective and environmentally friendly solutions for our specific waste problems for more effective and greater change.

There’s no time left to waste. Your commitment is essential to end plastic pollution. Pledge your support and sign up to the South African Alliance to End Plastic Pollution today!

  • For more information or to sign up to the South African Alliance to End Plastic Pollution in the Environment, contact Anton Hanekom, Executive Director of Plastics|SA at email:, Tel: (011) 314-4021