Multinational firms band together to tackle plastic waste in Sub-Saharan Africa
A group of multinational firms with operations in Africa have come together to launch the Africa Plastics Recycling Alliance in a bid to reduce the problem of plastic waste across the world.
The companies – Diageo, Unilever, The Coca Cola Company, Nestlé and Promasidor unveiled the alliance at the CEO Africa Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Alliance aim is to turn the current challenge of plastic waste in Sub Saharan Africa into an opportunity to create jobs and commercial activity by improving the collection and recycling of plastics.
The companies will facilitate and support their local subsidiaries to engage proactively in market level public private partnerships, industry collaboration and alliances. They will share knowledge, encourage innovation and collaborate on technical and other solutions appropriate for Sub-Saharan Africa as well as participate in local pilot initiatives. In addition, they will engage with the investment community, policy makers and others to accelerate the development and financing of the necessary waste management infrastructure and systems.
Speaking on behalf of the Alliance, Gabriel Opoku-Asare, head Diageo in Society Africa, said unfortunately, a lack of collection and recycling capacity in many African markets coupled with growing populations is creating a growing problem of plastics waste.
“Plastics will remain an important packaging material if we are to give African consumers the safe and affordable products they need. However, we need to ensure that the packaging used ends up in the right place.
“Unfortunately, a lack of collection and recycling capacity in many African markets coupled with growing populations is creating a growing problem of plastics waste. We see an opportunity to tackle that problem in a way that creates jobs and reduces dependency on imported materials while alternatives to plastics are developed.
“Collaboration within and across markets will be key to success so we are proud to launch the Africa Plastics Recycling Alliance today to increase those efforts and play our part as companies in finding solutions that work for Africa.”
Alliance members already have individual commitments to tackle plastics waste and collaborate through global collective action, such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and national institutions and platforms in various markets.
“Any initiatives we develop under this collaboration will aim to have comprehensive plans, will be appropriate to the local context and will be consistent with the principles of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment,” added Opoku-Asare.