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Cape Town commits to phasing out single-use plastic

The City of Cape Town has signed the South African Plastics Pact, becoming the first municipality in the world to sign a national plastic pact that will see the city relook plastic production and use. 


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In an effort to alleviate and contribute to resolving the global pollution crisis brought on by the use of single-use plastic, the City of Cape Town (COCT) has signed a declaration to become a supporting member of The South African Plastics Pact

City of Cape Town, Mayco Member for Water and Waste, Xanthea Limberg comments on the COCT's commitment to supporitng environmental efforts and plastic reduction by the signing of the SA Plastics Pact. 

‘It’s encouraging to see the growing shift towards more sustainable consumer choices globally, with society generally becoming more aware of the environmentally damaging effects of single-use plastics and excessive packaging. The SA Plastics Pact marks an important step closer to seeing greater success in this space locally, and the City is looking forward to playing its part in realizing the goals contained in it,' she says. 


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The SA Plastics Pact forms part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global Plastic Pact Network. A number of countries including, Chile, France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom are existing members of this network with Cape Town being the first African city to sign the pact. 

The Pact aims to change the way which plastic products and packaging are designed, used and reused in an effort to eliminate the current crisis we face of environmental plastic pollution. 


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Here is a list of targets that the South African Plastic Pact aims to acheive by 2025: 

- 100% of plastic packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable (in a closed loop system)

- 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled

- 30% average post-consumer recycled content across all plastic packaging


Limberg points out that the decreased use of plastic must be a commitment not only made by the city and its representatives, but by all industries involved. 

'The City’s role, as a supporting member, is to contribute to the development of solutions, amplify anti-plastic messages and cascade best practice.While the City can’t in its own capacity make commitments towards achieving the pact’s targets, it fully supports the initiative and its embedded principles. Goals however, will not be achieved without collaborative industry action.' 

In addition to the plastic pact, the City is showing commitment to phasing out single-use plastic. 

'Globally, the sentiment is that we need to move towards a circular economy for plastics. We can no longer take, make and dispose of plastic. There is an urgent need to keep plastic in the economy and out of the natural environment. It's a huge challenge globally, but if all stakeholders collaborate and work towards achieving the targets, we can tackle it and eventually win the war,' said Councillor Nicky Rheeder, member of the Water and Waste Portfolio Committee. 


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