Marine plastics pollution is an issue of global concern. The Japanese government’s “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision” seeks to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050. Therefore, Japan has committed support for developing countries to combat marine litter through capacity building and waste management infrastructure development with a specific focus on plastic waste. This project, funded by the Government of Japan, and implemented through the United National Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) was a partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa to support South Africa’s transitioning from conventional plastics to more environmentally sustainable alternatives.
The objectives of this research were to develop an evidence-based Action Plan for South Africa’s transition and to provide support for increased collection of recyclable plastics by strengthening the capacity for waste picker integration. Other important issues that were considered include the identification of products suitable for replacement, assessment of the environmental sustainability of materials, end-of-life treatment requirements for alternative materials and the potential for local production and conversion of biobased material alternatives to support local economic growth.
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