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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

Plastic: can Africa avoid making the West’s mistakes?

Plastic: can Africa avoid making the West’s mistakes?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

in partnership with DOW

This ThinkIn was broadcast live, with an online audience and an in-person audience at Cop27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

It is used to supply clean drinking water and other essential goods, but plastic waste is choking rivers in Africa, while open burning of discarded bags generates toxic fumes. In response, African countries including Kenya and Rwanda have introduced some of the world’s strictest bans on single-use plastic. 

This ThinkIn will explore whether African businesses and consumers can benefit from plastics, while shielding themselves from the damaging side-effects.

Can an effective recycling infrastructure be built on the continent and would this help tackle the problem? Do bans help shape the behaviour of consumers and manufacturers? Is reducing the quantity of single-use plastic the only effective solution and is paper or card packaging better for the environment? How can legislators strike a balance between business and consumer demand for plastic, and environmental protection? What can other markets learn from the African model of waste collection? Can emerging models that increase both demand and value of waste in Africa be exported to other countries?

Find out more about what happened at our ThinkIn here

editor and invited experts

Jeevan Vassagar
Climate Editor

Abe Lim
Founder and C.E.O., Purpose Plastics

Joshua Amponsem
Executive Director, Green Africa Youth Organisation

Nishara Siebani
Sustainability and Advocacy Manager, Africa, Dow

Steven Fletcher
Director, Global Plastics Policy Centre