As the South African Plastics Pact drives progress towards a circular economy for plastic packaging, more businesses are recognising the value of joining the collaboration.
The South African Plastics Pact has welcomed the signing of five new members, bringing the total number of members to 44 organisations. Food Lover’s Market, Naspers, and Sir Fruit join as new business members, and the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) and the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) join as supporting members.
Business members of the SA Plastics Pact represent the entire plastic packaging value chain which includes resin producers, packaging manufacturers, brand owners, retailers, and recyclers that handle plastic packaging in their business operations.
“The SA Plastics Pact is working to catalyse industry-led innovation, dialogue and collaboration to create new business models, generate job opportunities, and unlock barriers to move towards a circular economy for plastic, with improved economic, environmental and societal outcomes overall,” says Roan Snyman, Expert Analyst: Circular Economy at GreenCape.
Welcoming new members
Food Lover’s Market is the latest retailer to sign on to the SA Plastics Pact as a business member, joining other member retailers including Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Spar, and Clicks.
“Food Lover’s Market is committed to joining the collaborative drive towards a circular economy for plastic packaging which sits perfectly within our wider sustainability journey, Earth Lovers. Like many of our social and environmental challenges, South Africa’s plastics problem is bigger than any one organisation, and will rely on collective action. We’re delighted to be joining the Pact and look forward to working with other organisations towards achieving the ambitious 2025 targets,” says Andrew Millson, Managing Executive: Human Capital and Sustainability at Food Lover’s Market.
Naspers, global technology investor and operator, also joins as a business member, and is a crucial addition to the SA Plastics Pact as the collaboration aims to improve the entire plastic packaging system and encourage platform companies to adopt circular economy principles. Naspers subsidiaries, Prosus, Takealot, Mr D, Superbalist and Media24 also join the Pact.
“We’re delighted to join forces with Takealot, Media 24 and the existing SA Plastics Pact members to reduce plastic waste across the value chain. We know that plastic and packaging waste is a global problem that requires local solutions and systems to tackle it successfully. At Naspers, we are committed to being part of the solution as we move faster towards a circular economy for plastics,” says Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa CEO of Naspers.
Sir Fruit joins the other brand owners that form part of the Pact including Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, Unilever, Distell, PepsiCo, Chep and Tiger Brands.
“As a business we are focused on a thoughtful journey towards enhanced sustainability. We would like to drive longer-term meaningful change which will allow us to avoid falling victim to greenwashing and fly-by-night green ‘solutions’ which often cause more harm than good. We’ve already implemented some great initiatives but there is a lot more we can do. We look forward to collaborating with the Pact and its members toward the ambitious goals and targets,” says Cindy Hunlun, Technical Specialist, Sir Fruit.
The CGCSA and the CoJ join the SA Plastics Pact as supporting members. Supporting members play a key role in enabling circularity for plastic packaging in South Africa through industry-wide actions, research to support an evidence-based approach to circularity, and education and awareness.
The CGCSA acts as a representative body for the entire consumer packaged goods industry and has more than 9 000 member companies across the packaged goods value chain, representing retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors. The CGCSA can therefore play a significant role in helping to engage with more brand owners, retailers and manufacturers and in facilitating growth in a circular economy for plastic packaging in SA.
“The CGCSA is committed to playing a critical role in supporting the creation of an enabling environment for circularity in plastics packaging in South Africa. We are looking forward to collaborating with the existing SA Plastics Pact members as well as our retail, wholesale and manufacturing members toward achieving the targets of the initiative. We want to be part of a collaboration that is steering the country’s economy towards one that is job creating and circular,” says Matlou Setati, Executive of Food Safety and Sustainability, CGCSA.
The CoJ becomes the second metropolitan municipality to join the SA Plastics Pact after the City of Cape Town. Metropolitan municipalities can play a key role in South Africa’s recycling economy, particularly in terms of separation.
“The City of Johannesburg is committed to world class service delivery for our customers. This includes the provision of a clean and healthy environment which is devoid of plastic pollution. The transition to a job creating circular economy is at the forefront of our thinking, and being part of the SA Plastics Pact, which is a hub of collaboration and innovation, is an intuitive next step for us to take,” says Khosi Baker, Director: Waste Management and Regulation City of Johannesburg.
“We’re delighted to welcome these new members into the SA Plastics Pact. For systemic change, a circular economy for plastic packaging will require the participation of all role-players and, GreenCape, as the SA Plastics Pact secretariat, is ready to support new members wherever they are on their journey towards a circular economy for plastic packaging,” says Snyman.