Plastic pollution is now found throughout food webs in every known marine ecosystem while single-use plastics account for about 15% of all non-combustible oil used in the petrochemical industry. In response to this worsening trend the WWF Nedbank Green Trust launched a project titled ‘A systemic approach to addressing marine plastic pollution.’
Although there is growing global awareness of the challenges, the current response in South Africa (SA) has been disjointed and has tended to focus on individual plastic items such as straws or plastic shopping bags. This WWF Nedbank Green Trust project presents a cohesive, overarching approach to address the problem across the entire value chain.
We have developed a coordinated strategy that works across three critical tiers: individual consumers, business and national and international government to bring about a catalytic effect at a meaningful scale. This project will not only initiate a coordinated response to a critical environmental need but also help to strengthen other stakeholder actions through strong leadership, convening and expertise sharing.
At the policy level the project supports an international, legally binding agreement on plastic pollution at the various international and intergovernmental platforms. At the business level we have successfully launched a voluntary plastic commitment nationally called the SA Plastics Pact. The Pact is part of the Plastic Pact Network endorsed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the United Nations and other non-government organisations internationally. At the consumer level we have developed a campaign strategy and baseline against which to measure progress.