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Plastic Pollution in Africa: Identifying Policy Gaps and Opportunities

Most of Africa’s rural towns and burgeoning cities, rivers and coastlines are increasingly becoming heavily polluted with discarded plastic packaging and other plastic waste. However, Africa – unlike Asia – is not yet a regional plastic pollution hotspot, but that could change if “business as usual” continues.

This is a first-of-its-kind report on the state and impacts of plastic pollution in Africa, combined with existing policy and legal frameworks to address the issue and recommendations on the policy options required to tackle the challenges – urgently, holistically and in a coordinated manner.

This report is primarily aimed at policymakers and experts working in the plastic policy landscape in Africa. Case studies from various countries across the continent are used to illustrate examples of policy and legal frameworks at national level. The final section outlines the opportunities for policy and legal responses for African governments to tackle the issue across all the life cycle stages of plastic. At a global level, this report urges African governments to actively participate in negotiations towards a new global treaty to combat plastic pollution in order to offer perspectives and priorities from the African context.