Plastic Waste Management in Africa: An Overview

Second Pan-Africa Workshop on “Global Forum of Cities on Circular Economy (GFCCE)” in Solid Waste Management, 23rd – 25th January 2023, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania 

Considering the emerging global challenges around solid waste management, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi-based global think tank, felt the need to have a ‘Global Forum of Cities for Circular Economy (GFCCE),’ focusing especially on the Global South, including the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The core objective of GFCCE is to provide a global platform to countries where they can share evidence-based learnings, policy interventions, institutional frameworks and implementation modalities. The aim is to enable countries to establish sustainable solid waste management ecosystems based on the principles of circular economy. The GFCCE was, therefore, conceived as a bridge to connect countries and cities in the pursuit of achieving sustainable solid waste management practices that can eventually emerge as good practice to inspire and influence others. Ten nations in Sub-Saharan Africa—Eswatini,Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia— joined GFCCE at the time of its launch in July 2022. Between July 2022 and January 2023, many more nations, especially from Asia, have expressed their interest in joining GFCCE to make it an inter-continental forum. A dialogue of this scale can help cities reinvent their waste management systems with the help of evidence-based research and best practices. 

The report ‘Plastic Waste Management in Africa: An Overview’ is a secondary scoping research on the state of plastic waste management systems and practices in fifteen African Nations—Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Côte D’Ivoire and Cameroon. Of the fifteen countries, the first ten are already part of GFCCE. Five new countries have been added to extend the forum in the coming years. This report captures insights into a diverse ecosystem of regional, local and national challenges that confront these countries in terms of plastic waste management through the existing basket of policy interventions. Based on information available in the public domain, the study is an attempt at assessing the current state of preparedness that countries are equipped with to deal with ever-increasing plastic pollution coupled with marine litter. Through the review, the study also looks into various policy interventions and implementation challenges with regard to existing institutional arrangements that are in place to combat plastic pollution.