In November 2019, 54 African states supported a call for global action to address plastic pollution at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). In January 2020, WWF launched the South African Plastic Pact – signed by 35 industry members, and supported by the City of Cape Town, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, and others. In October 2020, 29 global businesses – including Pick n Pay and Woolworths in South Africa – signed a manifesto to call for a UN Treaty for Plastic Pollution. While leaders have made good strides towards plastic action, increased urgency is needed at all levels, including municipal, national, regional and global.
As we move into the festive season of celebrations, and consider our long-term pandemic impact, let’s look to the items that are reusable and the things we can repurpose. We can be grateful for the many positive roles of plastic in our lives and get strict on ourselves about deliberately phasing out our use of the hard-to-recycle plastics. We should also raise our voices and use our social platforms to put pressure on our government, local manufacturing and packaging industries, and retailers and suppliers to design better – and support the UN global treaty.
Start by sharing this blog with your network of family, friends, and colleagues.
There’s no time to waste, with 20/20 clarity and experience from the pandemic and climate crisis, we need to innovate and act now before our invisible plastic addiction consumes us entirely.