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Plastic Waste's challenge in Africa :
A Pan-African rPET Standardization underway with ACEA


Jan 30, 2024

Africa, grappling with unique challenges in plastic pollution management, must address factors like population growth, evolving consumer behaviors, and inadequate recycling infrastructure. Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, faces substantial annual plastic waste generation and low recycling rates. Without intervention, there is a projected 197 percent increase in waste in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2050, particularly plastics. ACEA is currently facilitating discussion for a pan-African rPET standard

ACEA facilitating discussion for a pan-African rPET standard

While plastic pollution poses challenges, policy initiatives promoting a circular plastics economy offer hope in Africa. However, implementation hurdles persist due to fragmented rPET regulations, hindering cross-border cooperation and investment in recycling infrastructure.

To tackle these challenges and foster a harmonized approach, the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA) is facilitating ongoing discussions among its member countries. These discussions focus on developing a pan-African rPET standard for food contact application.

Enhanced collaboration on rPET Standardization

On January 17, 2024, the Dialogue on Advancing Pan-African rPET Standardization was held in Morocco, co-hosted by SWITCH 2 Circular Economy Value Chains—Chatham House, the African Circular Economy Alliance, the Morocco Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, the Ministry for Industry, and COVAD. Key policymakers from African countries and representatives from Europe and the US were brought together to share knowledge.

The session aimed to clarify global developments on rPET legislation and standards in Africa, the EU, and the US, and explore the feasibility and rationale for a pan-African rPET standard. This resulted in enhanced collaboration between policy and standards makers from the US, the EU,

and Africa. A summary report of the dialogue for wider dissemination, and insights included in a larger report will be published by ACEA and SWITCH2CE summarizing the ongoing discussion on pan-African rPET standardization.

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