INNOVATING FOR THE SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF PLASTIC WASTE ON THE KERKENNAH ISLANDS IN TUNISIA
The Mediterranean, one of the most polluted seas on Earth, has hit record levels in concentrations of microplastics and macroplastics. The Kerkennah archipelago in Tunisia is facing a major challenge, with over 600 tonnes of waste thrown into the sea every year, mainly by the fishing community. The Plast’ile project, run by the NGO SMILO, is providing an innovative global solution to this issue. It is designed to support the pilot site in Kerkennah in introducing a strategy to reduce plastic pollution. This will include preventive action, such as awareness-raising workshops and research into new alternatives to plastic, as well as sustainable management of plastic waste using an innovative technical solution – a unique low-tech pyrolysis machine called the Chrysalis 40, which is certified by the Solar Impulse Foundation.
Through its inclusive approach, the project is bringing together public, private and civil society stakeholders in participative governance for the concerted management of plastic waste. In addition to its local impact, the project hopes to serve as an example that can be replicated in other island environments prone to plastic pollution.
RETHINKING USE OF PLASTICS AND WASTE MANAGEMENT TO BENEFIT THE ENVIRONMENT IN COSTA RICA
As Central America’s largest importer of plastics, Costa Rica has to manage a significant amount of waste, part of which ends up in the wild. In response to this issue, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the FFEM and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is running an ambitious project in partnership with the Government of Costa Rica, the private sector and civil society.
The main aim of this project is to reduce plastic pollution at source, with an emphasis on preventive action and measures designed to limit the production and use of plastics. Using a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach, the project aims to develop effective strategies, strengthen regulation and raise public awareness, in order to promote sustainable practices and a circular economy. Through this action, Costa Rica hopes to set an inspiring example for the region in reducing plastic pollution.
BETTER UNDERSTANDING PLASTIC POLLUTION AND STRENGTHENING THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN THE INDIAN OCEAN
The exponential increase in the production and use of plastics over the last 50 years has resulted in dramatic pollution of the marine environment, including in the Indian Ocean, which is a hotspot for global biodiversity. Every year, between 8 and 15 million tonnes of plastics are discharged into the oceans, and there is still scant understanding of the impacts on marine biodiversity, the food chain and human health.
To tackle the proliferation in plastics, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) signed an agreement in July 2021 for the ExPLOI (Indian Ocean Plastic Expedition) project, to be supported by the FFEM and the French Development Agency (AFD). ExPLOI is delivering practical actions to raise awareness and mobilise stakeholders to promote sustainable and responsible practices in managing plastics. One of the key objectives of the project is to help develop a regional circular economy in the south-west Indian Ocean, by establishing a regional plastic waste treatment sector and stimulating the creation of green jobs. The project is also aiming to improve the living environment for the population by reducing plastic pollution. A key component of ExPLOI involves creating a database on plastic pollution, to be shared among IOC member states. This database is strengthening the governance framework for management of plastic waste, by enabling better monitoring and long-term networking of observation stations. In addition, the project is supporting the development of positive practices and innovation, encouraging adoption of clean technologies and improvements to public policy to make waste management more effective.
IMPROVING CONTROL, REDUCTION AND PROPER MANAGEMENT OF PLASTIC WASTE IN CAPE VERDE AND SENEGAL
In accordance with the principles of the Basel Convention, this field of work is now being bolstered by a new project. This is setting out to better protect human health and the environment from the negative impacts of plastic waste, in Cape Verde and Senegal and ultimately in other West African countries. The aim is to improve the countries’ capacity to control, reduce and properly manage plastic waste.
The project, for which the FFEM is shortly due to sign a finance agreement, will last three years and receive €2 million in funding. It will be implemented by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions.
These initiatives demonstrate the ongoing commitment of the FFEM and international stakeholders to combat plastic pollution throughout the world. They form part of an overall approach of preventing plastic pollution at source, promoting sustainable practices and encouraging a circular economy. Through an emphasis on changing practices, on the part of both producers and consumers, these actions seek to reduce unsustainable production and use of plastics. By promoting innovative and sustainable solutions, they are highlighting the importance of raising awareness; of collaboration between public, private and civil society stakeholders; and of adopting practical measures to combat plastic pollution.