Packaging SA has become the latest signatory to the plastics industry’s Global Declaration for Solutions to Marine Litter, highlighting its commitment to finding solutions to combat plastics in our oceans.
“We recognise that plastic packaging is a major contributor to marine litter and consequently feel that it is important that we play our part in supporting every initiative to sort out this worrying global problem,” says Charles Muller, Executive Director of Packaging SA.
Douw Steyn, Director Sustainability at Plastics SA and Chairman of Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement on the Global Action Team on Marine Debris (GAT) welcomed Packaging SA as the second signatory from the packaging industry, the first being PACIA (National Packaging Covenant Industry Association – Australia).
“The objective is to encourage country packaging associations, brand owners, retailers, environmental NGO`s and like-minded organisations to sign the Declaration and together, with the global plastics industry, to tackle plastics in the marine environment,” Steyn says.
In line with the five year plan of the Global Action Team on Marine Debris (GAT), the Sustainability Council of Plastics|SA has set itself objectives that include specific marine debris actions.
Early in 2015, they hosted the second African Marine Debris Summit in Cape Town which led to the formation of a South African Network on Marine Debris, with the long-term goal of establishing an African network that tie into the global management of marine debris.
“The GAT have made six public commitments that are aimed at contributing to sustainable solutions to address marine litter which are education, research, public policy, sharing best practices, plastics recycling and recover and plastic pellet containment,” Steyn explains. Plastics|SA signed the Declaration in 2011 and to date, more than 65 associations in 35 countries have signed the plastics industry’s global declaration, through which 185 projects have been planned, initiated, or completed since its launch in March 2011.
Steve Russell, Vice President of Plastics for the American Chemistry Council, welcomed and commended Packaging SA for joining global efforts to address marine debris. He said that marine debris is a complex, global problem, and Packaging SA`s participation is a strong signal that the packaging industry and its stakeholders are also committed to doing their part in providing solutions.