PETCO takes a lead in addressing MARINE WASTE IN AFRICA

PETCO has partnered with The Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) to set up the communications hub for The African Marine Waste Network (AMWN).

An ambitious collaboration between the 38 coastal and island states of Africa, the AWMN represents the first dedicated approach to addressing marine waste at a pan-African level – an African contribution to solving a global crisis.

As Cheri Scholtz, CEO of PETCO, explains; “PETCO believes that the partnership with SST and the African Marine Waste Network has great potential to bring together key stakeholders in the PET value chain – government (national, provincial and local), the private sector, manufacturers, converters, bottlers, brand owners, recyclers, collectors, retailers, and consumers – to jointly develop and implement plans to address the challenges presented by waste in the marine environment.”

This initiative promises to be a game changer, this is particularly timely, given that the first international UN Ocean Conference that took place in New York last week. This focused on waste minimisation and improving mechanisms for environmentally-sound waste management, disposal and recycling.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated at the opening of the Ocean Conference: “The special relationship between people and the ocean that brings untold benefits for life, is under threat as never before. The problems of the ocean—all created by human activity, can all be reversed and prevented with decisive, coordinated action.”

Given the pressing issue of ocean pollution worldwide, the partnership between PETCO and the SST is well-positioned to become a positive pathway for facilitating change and action.

Concludes Dr Tony Ribbink of SST, “Thanks must be given to PETCO for their vision and generosity in providing core support. We believe that, alongside strategic founding partner Plastics|SA, PETCO has planted the seed which SST will carefully nurture through its early stages, and then grow the hub so that communications will become the unifying essence of the Network.”

PETCO (the PET Plastic Recycling Company NPC) works to fulfil the South African PET industry’s role of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). EPR promotes the integration of environmental costs associated with PET products throughout their life cycles into the market costs of the products, and shifts responsibility for the used packaging from government to private industry. We are financed by a voluntary recycling fee paid by converters on PET resin purchased and grants from brand owners, resin producers and retailers.

Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) is a registered Charity, Public Benefit Organization, and Not for Profit Organization. The Trust is registered and administered by Nedgroup Trust and operates exclusively for charitable, socioeconomic, scientific, educational and philanthropic purposes. SST is dedicated to harnessing the power of people everywhere to promote conservation, sustainability and habitat restoration. Through the production of films, posters, and educational booklets for teachers and students, SST raises environmental awareness to help preserve coastal areas from over-harvesting and pollution.

Plastics|SA and Packaging SA are signatories of the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, which was signed in 2011 and is an International Plastics Industry effort to combat marine litter by up to 90%. To consolidate and leverage these efforts, and to generate additional innovative solutions, 65 plastics associations from 34 countries across the globe signed the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter since March 2011.

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