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African States Need Policy Interventions to Grow the Market for Circular Plastic Products

By 2030, plastic waste is expected to double to 165 million tonnes in African countries. Most of this will be in Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. A significant proportion of the plastic that ends up on African shores is produced in developed, industrialised countries. By 2010, it was estimated that close to 4.4 million tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste was in oceans and seas off the coast of Africa every year. A 2022 estimate has put this number at 17 million tonnes. Growing numbers of NGOs and innovators across the continent are responding to the challenge. They are developing digital solutions to reduce plastic waste generation and promoting reuse and recyling of plastic products. Increasingly, African tech hubs are incorporating environmental sustainability in their business models. A Nigerian software company, Wecyclers, operates a rewards-for-recycling platform. It offers incentives to individuals and households in low-income communities to make money and capture value from recyclable plastic waste. In Uganda, Yo Waste, a technology start-up, has developed a mobile, cloud-based solution that connects waste generators to the nearest waste haulers in their community. In Zambia, Recyclebot is connecting waste sellers to waste buyers via a crowdsourcing platform that aggregates waste by type and location.

SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION