Diageo, Unilever, Coca Cola and Nestlé pledge to clean up plastic in Africa

The firms say they want to improve the recycling rate of plastic waste, create jobs and boost business

Plastic waste on African beach

Diageo, Unilever, Coca Cola and Nestlé have launched a scheme to rid Africa of plastic waste.

The Africa Plastics Recycling Alliance, which was announced by the international consumer goods companies at the CEO Africa Forum in Kigali, sets out to improve the collection and recycling of plastic waste and in doing so, create jobs and provide a boost to businesses.

It will see the companies, which are each responsible for a significant volume of plastic packaging being produced each year, work to help their local subsidiaries engage in public-private partnerships to reduce litter.

The firms say they will share knowledge, encourage innovation and collaborate on developing innovative solutions to stop bottles, wrappers and other packaging entering the environment and damaging wildlife.

They will also engage with the investment community, policy makers and other groups to accelerate the financing and implementation of the waste management infrastructure and systems that will need to be put in place.

A statement released by the group of businesses said: “Plastics will remain an important packaging material if we are to give African consumers the safe and affordable products they need. However, we need to ensure that used packaging does not end up as litter.

“Unfortunately, a lack of collection and recycling capacity in many African markets coupled with growing populations is creating a growing problem of plastics waste. We see an opportunity to tackle that problem in a way that creates jobs and reduces dependency on imported materials while alternatives to plastics are developed.”

Latest Podcast