Africa|Environment|Resources|Sustainable|Training|Waste|Waste Management|Solutions|Environmental|Waste
Africa|Environment|Resources|Sustainable|Training|Waste|Waste Management|Solutions|Environmental|Waste

IWMSA stresses importance of combatting plastic pollution

17th April 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer


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Amid an increasing need to combat plastic pollution, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) highlights the need for concerted efforts to combat plastic pollution in South Africa.

IWMSA president Mpendulo Ginindza notes that the plastic economy in South Africa is based on a linear model of “take-make-waste”, leading to significant environmental consequences.

Ginindza adds that improper waste management results in plastic waste infiltrating rivers, oceans and communities, thereby posing threats to wildlife and ecosystems.

Therefore, in alignment with World Earth Day's "Planet vs. Plastics" theme, the IWMSA says it is devoted to raising awareness about the impacts of plastic pollution and promoting sustainable solutions to address this issue.

Through initiatives such as community clean-ups and educational campaigns the IWMSA aims to empower individuals, businesses and government agencies to take proactive steps towards reducing plastic consumption and promoting a circular economy.

"We have industry experts working tirelessly to review and update our training programmes, equipping our members with the knowledge and tools to promote a circular economy and reduce plastic production," Ginindza adds.

The IWMSA says it also acknowledges the importance of collaboration among government agencies, businesses, and individuals in tackling plastic pollution and promoting sustainable waste management practices.

Through strategic partnerships and collaborative initiatives, the IWMSA aims to harness collective efforts towards achieving the goal of reducing plastic production by 60% by 2040.

“As a member-driven organisation, we require participation of members so that we can effectively engage stakeholders. IWMSA has MoUs with strategic partners - these include the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), various universities and nongovernmental organisations, and industries that support our vision. If we are to achieve the 2040 targets, we must work together. It requires collaboration and participation,” urges Ginindza.

Despite facing challenges in achieving this target, including the need for increased member participation and stakeholder engagement, the IWMSA says it remains steadfast in its commitment to driving progress towards a sustainable future.

Further, as consumers play a crucial role in addressing the plastic pollution crisis, the IWMSA emphasises the importance of consumer education and empowerment in fostering sustainable consumption habits.

By making informed choices and supporting initiatives that promote waste management and recycling, the IWMSA explains that individuals can contribute to the shift towards a circular economy.

“Looking ahead, the IWMSA's priorities include advancing its mission of promoting responsible waste management and environmental stewardship in South Africa, with a focus on driving the transition towards a circular economy and creating value from secondary resources to support job creation and economic growth,” concludes Ginindza.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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