A number of representatives of the Global Plastics Alliance (GPA) gathered in Penang, Malaysia from 13 to 15 December 2017 as guests of the Malaysian Plastic Manufacturers Association. The congregation was met with a view on how to accelerate and advance The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, which is also known as the ‘Joint Declaration’.
Plastics|SA’s sustainability director, Douw Steyn says more than 19 countries from across four continents are currently participating in this joint initiative. These include Canada, India, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Colombia, the United States and Europe.
‘Marine litter is a complex problem that requires creative thinking and a holistic approach. There is no single solution and it is therefore important to hear the different perspectives on the issues facing the industry. It was hugely encouraging to see so many plastic manufacturers from across the globe come together with the objective of finding ways to keep used plastic out of the environment and further improve the sustainability of these energy and resource efficient materials,’ Steyn adds.
Africa’s voice in these matters is represented by Plastics|SA and Packaging SA, which recently became signatories.
‘We have launched various successful clean-up and recycle initiatives, such as our annual International Coastal Clean-Ups, Operation Clean Sweep, sponsoring litter booms and initiatives such as the Aqua Amazing schools education programme as part of our commitment to reducing plastics litter in the environment,’ he concludes.