Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
31 January 2020
A Plastics Master Plan is under development.
The environment, forestry and fisheries department announced this at the launch of the South Africa Plastic Pact (SAPP) in Cape Town.
Speaking on behalf of the minister of environment, forestry and fisheries, Barbara Creecy, the department’s deputy director-general of oceans and coast, Judy Beaumont, indicated that the Master Plan is being developed with “targets, timeframes, actions and specific goals to ensure that we implement the actions we discussed and that everyone responsible for the work is held accountable”.
Regular meetings and workshops are being held to check progress and to account for work done.
Ms Beaumont also emphasized that the department supports the launch of the SAPP that calls for a common vision to address plastic waste and pollution issues.
“We all want to see an economy where plastic is valued and beneficiated.”
“The SAPP will be a good platform to bring together key stakeholders such as businesses, plastic industries, civil society, NGO’s and Government who will work towards re-thinking on the design, use and reuse of plastics to implement locally tailored solutions towards a circular economy for plastics in South Africa”, she said.
Benefits of the SAPP highlighted by the department include environmental benefits (less waste, less litter, less pollution), economic benefits (jobs and investment) as well as social benefits (improving lives and community upliftment).
The DDG also revealed that current plastic bag policy was being assessed.
The plan is to draw up a new policy direction and identify amendments to existing policy instruments governing the production and sale of plastic carrier bags.
The department is also “assessing the extent of single use plastics waste with a view to propose policy options for addressing its environmental impacts”.