Findings from the 2021 report, Plastics: From recycling to (post-consumer) recyclate: Industry views on barriers and opportunities in South Africa, show an array of insights obtained from interviews with stakeholders in the South African plastics industry. This report was produced by the South African Plastics Pact, South African Plastics Recycling Organisation and WWF South Africa.
Research interviews were carried out with stakeholders in the full plastic packaging value chain, from polymer producers to brand owners and retailers, to informal recyclers and material converters. The report captures responses on the main issues and barriers to recycling and the use of recyclate, as well as the solutions suggested to address, and avoid, the negative impacts of plastic pollution.” (WWF, 2021)
The stakeholders interviewed identified 8 “essential interventions to support recycling and the uptake of recycled content:
- Virgin polymer producers and importers should include post-consumer recycled content
- Converters can guide their customers regarding design for recycling and inclusion of recycled content
- Brand owners and retailers should sign up to collective commitments to design recyclable packaging with recycled content mandatory (limitations in certain food contact packaging)
- Brand owners and retailers should communicate the social and environmental benefits of using post-consumer recycled plastic in their products
- Brand owners and retailers should work with their respective converters and suppliers of postconsumer plastic to develop testing protocols to streamline packaging approvals
- Municipalities, industry and the producer responsibility organisations should work together to implement the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations
- Local and national government should specify the inclusion of post-consumer recycled content in their public procurement policies
- 8. Producer responsibility organisations should consider a “shared services” model to reduce cost, complexity and the risk of duplicating their eﬀorts.
We look forward on building on these insights to address the barriers to recycling and including recycled content, and maximise opportunities to grow our circular economy for plastics.