The commitment of South African Plastics Pact members lead to 34.7 million fewer problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging items on the market in 2021. This and more was revealed in its latest annual report.
The South African (SA) Plastics Pact has followed the publication of its baseline report in 2021, with the publication of its first annual report, providing a first comparative report that allows the Pact to collectively reflect on the developments and impact made towards achieving its 2025 targets.
The SA Plastics Pact is a positive platform to stimulate innovation, dialogue and collaboration to unlock barriers to circularity, to create new business models and generate job opportunities. It forms part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact Network, united by a shared vision for a New Plastics Economy.
The SA Plastics Pact currently has 44 members representing key organisations across the plastics value chain, including resin producers, packaging manufacturers, brand owners and retailers, converters, informal collectors, and recyclers. Of the total plastic packaging placed on the market in South Africa, brand owner and retail members account for 27.9% and converter members constitute 30.1%.
Key highlights published in the 2021 annual report include:
- Target 1: 34.7 million fewer problematic or unnecessary items were sold/distributed by members in 2021
- Target 2: 81.2% of plastic packaging placed on the market by members is currently recyclable in South Africa, compared to 80.7% in 2020.
- Target 3: The amount of plastic recycled in South Africa in 2020 was 43.2% of the total plastics placed on the market in 2020, with a 35.4% recycling rate for plastic packaging.
- Target 4: 20.8% average recycled content across all plastic packaging, with 11.7% in consumer/primary packaging, increasing from 7.6% in 2020, and retailer/secondary and logistics/tertiary packaging at 37.1%.
The release of the report was announced internally to members during the SA Plastics Pact member conference in November 2022, where members had first sight of the report and had the opportunity to share and review the Pact’s collective progress and efforts towards the 2025 targets.
“We celebrate the sustained commitment of SA Plastics Pact members during the global COVID-19 pandemic, which dramatically constrained our economy. Nonetheless, our members have remained committed in their pursuit of our 2025 targets and continue to trail blaze the path towards a circular economy for plastics. As secretariat of the Pact, GreenCape salutes all members for their collaboration and commitment to our shared goal,” said Wade de Kock, Circular Economy Analyst at GreenCape, during the conference.
Key themes that were consistent during the member conference and in the report as a whole, was the emphasis on “progress” and “collaboration”. The demonstrable progress made by members serves as a pacemaker for a transition to circularity through implementing proactive and intentional industry self-regulation principles.
In celebration of members’ progress, Joe Stead, Group Creative Head and Environmental Sustainability Manager of Spur Group, added “It was interesting to hear about what the SA Plastics Pact members have achieved over the reporting period in-spite of the many challenges we are faced with. The bigger picture around our collective effort identified new opportunities to build on our continued collaboration to further map out meaningful systems change needed for real long term impact” following the launch of the 2021 annual report at the member conference.